Rambler Staff

What has five rings, that comes in a variety of colors, and is one step of Japan’s economic recovery?  If you guessed the Olympics, you are correct.

The Olympics is only one step in the program for economic recovery, and has produced its own term of Gorinomics. This translates as “five rings.” These five rings are the five steps for Japan’s recovery, and the term comes from President Shinzo Abe.

The other steps are “bold monetary policies, flexible fiscal policies and economic growth strategies to encourage private investment.” One of the acts that have been carried out is Shinzo Abe raising the sales tax in Japan from 5 percent to 8 percent. This increase will take effect next year. Eight percent sales tax is similar to what we have here in Illinois, however many Japanese people are angry about the raise. Abe hopes to get the sales tax to 10 percent over the next few years. This may be a good step for Japan to increase its revenue and pay off its debt; however, they need to first solve the issue of deflation.  As a part of economic plans, Abe is going to accelerate construction in Fukushima (the place where the nuclear reactor is). Hopefully, this will create more jobs and help the people spend money to get the economy rolling.

The major economic focus is the 2020 Olympics. Projected income from the Olympics is 150 trillion yen, just from tourists. Many of the buildings used for the games are going to be constructed on land that suffered earthquake damage from the March 2011 earthquake. This causes the land to be unstable because the soil acts like water.  Also, should another earthquake hit Tokyo, it may thwart preparations for the games. Another concern about the games is how it will affect the local environment of Tokyo. For instance, the canoeing event calls for a 300 meter long concrete course which may harm the habitat of local flora and fauna. With the Olympics coming to town, it may allow casino gambling to ride on other programs for the games. Previously, it had been halted in the Diet (National Government).  The 2020 Olympics are going to be placed eastward on Tokyo Bay waterfront which will cause many people to invest in waterfront high-rise condos. The layout of the buildings for the Olympics includes the designation of which buildings can be demolished or put to other uses.

A negative impact of the games is the yakuza. The yakuza is an organized crime syndicate much like mobsters of New York or Chicago. They do not dress like 1920’s gangsters, but they do engage in illegal activity for profits. In order to gain profits from the Olympics, the yakuza are going to hide behind companies that have no business activity and use those companies to take as many contracts as possible for construction.

But, even with the bad, Japan can utilize the Olympics to help it get back on its feet. I believe that action, even if it is poor, needs to be done. One cannot just sit back and watch something fail. The actions of Shinzo Abe may be considered bad, but at least he is doing something to prevent the airplane from crashing into the earth.


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