There´s a good (long) story in Bloomberg on how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is prodding Japan out of its lethargy:
Putting the final touches to his latest book in October, retired Yale University professor Koichi Hamada received a phone call at his Connecticut home. It was Shinzo Abe, whom he’d known for more than a decade and was running for a second shot at being Japan’s prime minister.
“I was really surprised,” Hamada, 77, who has campaigned for years for greater Japanese monetary stimulus, said in an interview from Wallingford, north of the campus where he used to teach. “I wrote him a summary of my views on the questions he asked about the role of monetary policy for recovery and reflation.”
(Yale University professor Koishi Hamada says that blaming the declining population for deflation is groundless, and that BOJ easing in February last year showed that monetary stimulus works by influencing expectations.)
Abe’s call, weeks before he retook power, underscores the rising role of a group of Bank of Japan critics who drifted to the margins of policy debates during the nation’s decade-and-a- half battle with deflation. Abe appointed Hamada to advise him on choosing the next BOJ governor. Etsuro Honda, 58, a Shizuoka University professor who wants a two-year window attached to the bank’s new inflation target, has a workspace next to Abe’s on the fifth floor of his office building across from parliament. Other reflationists summoned by Abe this year include Kikuo Iwata, 70, and Yoichi Takahashi, 57, who advocate a surge in Japan’s monetary base.
It seems that Princeton is ‘light years’ distant from Yale!