“Tenkan, a term in several martial arts for a swift, 180-degree pivoting move, has provided the economist and Asia specialist Jacques Gravereau with an analogy for illustrating the ability of the Japanese people to carry out radical changes in direction collectively, flexibly, and energetically.”

Does the policy shift initiated a few months ago by the Japanese authorities qualify as tenkan? On this one, the jury is still out, but in any event, this experiment already represents a key stage in the crisis affecting the developed countries.

To highlight its importance, we are publishing two papers on this question. The first one, a brief attempt to put Japan’s deflationary episode into perspective, seeks to shed light on why the country was previously in so little of a hurry to deal with this affliction, and why it now feels compelled to take an entirely new tack. Download 1st article.

The second paper is by Frank Benzimra, a specialist on the Japanese economy and financial markets based in Asia for about ten years, who has been kind enough to share his thoughts with us. He begins by explaining how Japan managed to make it through fifteen years of extremely high public debt without lapsing into chaos. He then goes on to discuss the pioneering aspects of Prime Minister Abe’s new policy. In conclusion, he puts forward three possible scenarios for the outcome of “Abenomics,” along with the three investment strategies they imply. Departing from our usual practice, we are publishing this contribution in English. Download Frank Benzimra’s article.