Japanese policy-makers have never been at a loss for ideas on how to clean up the nation's debt-laden banks. College professors, bank analysts and authors are forever offering opinions in newspapers and on television. \nBut in recent months, several international agencies have also raised loud alarm bells. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, for instance, recently said Japan's banks needed more taxpayer money to survive. \nAdd the IMF to the list. The fund is in the middle of a yearlong inspection of Japan's banks that some hope will shed light on the problem of bad loans here. Sayuri Shirai, a former IMF economist with connections to her old employer, said the report, scheduled for next summer, would prove that several banks do not meet international capital standards. \nAfter years of frightening warnings, though, the question is what impact these findings may have. Lawmakers and, to a large degree, the public have become so hardened to predictions of the financial system's demise that they tune out much of the advice, including some helpful ideas. \nComplicating matters, the suggestions are often hurled by foreigners who are suspected of having ulterior motives. American bankers are often portrayed in the local media as vultures who swoop down on embattled Japanese companies, buy assets on the cheap and put Japanese employees out of work. Politicians stumping for votes routinely accuse Westerners and their Japanese sympathizers of financial imperialism. \nMore often than not, then, foreign advice, however useful, ends up fueling existing prejudices. The IMF report may will bolster reformers like Heizo Takenaka, Japan's financial czar whose plan to clean up the banking system has been diluted. Yet conservative lawmakers eager to maintain the status quo also may use the report to scare voters into opposing any radical reforms. \n"The reaction goes both ways," said Michael Petit, the chief criteria officer at Standard & Poor's in Tokyo whose own credit reports have been volleyed around for political purposes. "Takenaka may try to use the international support, but the forces inside the government are ultimately the ones who say what gets decided."
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The