meets U.S. investor Soros after stressing economic focus
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met U.S. investor George Soros and
British economic and financial thinker Adair Turner in Tokyo on
Friday, having indicated in speeches earlier this week he wants to
find fresh ways to implement his "Abenomics" economic and fiscal
policy package this year.
The massive fiscal spending envisioned by Abenomics, which is
designed to pull Japan out of a two-decade deflation trend, faces
constraints as the country takes on ballooning debts to cover social
security for its rapidly graying population.
Soros and Turner are among proponents of the idea that central
banks in economies like Japan's could directly purchase government
bonds to effectively finance fiscal stimulus -- a concept often
called "helicopter money."
According to Yoichi Funabashi who was present at the roughly
30-minute meeting, Soros has also held meetings with Finance Minister
Taro Aso and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda during his
current trip to Japan. Funabashi leads Rebuild Japan Initiative
Foundation, a Tokyo-based think tank.
Turner chaired Britain's Financial Services Authority from 2008
until it was split up in 2013 in the wake of the global financial
crisis. He is now part of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a
think tank set up by Soros. (Jan. 6)