When there's a press release put on the BOJ's website from the MOF, the BOJ and the government — that's analogous to Bernanke, Geithner and Hillary Clinton issuing a joint press release saying 'we're going to end deflation'. This is how it begins to happen. Their backs are against the wall. They have a full crisis. They absolutely have to change the manner in which they deal with their currency.”
“The Federation of Electric Power Companies, an industry group representing Japan's largest electric utilities, has just released new data on Japanese fossil fuel imports for January 2012. The data reveal that last month, despite an overall drop in economy-wide energy use, Japan imported and consumed far larger quantities of fossil fuels than it did in January 2011 [italics added], before its earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster upended its economy and energy system.”
The existence of four hundred nuclear plants around the world might be a deterrence in the same way that nuclear arsenals are. If hostile nations rationally assess the risks, they will be deterred from escalating tensions with any nation that has a civilian nuclear capacity, let alone one with nuclear weapons. During WWII, American forces began planning for the occupation of Japan while they were still bombing it, which is the reason they spared the Imperial Palace and a few other locations. In the same way, aggressors might refrain from creating a nuclear wasteland in a country they might want to exploit or occupy at some future date. Or they might refrain from creating a nuclear catastrophe that would impact wide regions beyond the countries involved in the conflict. On the bright side, another kind of deterrence lies in the fact that so many developed countries have little for aggressors to covet. It is doubtful that anyone would want to occupy and govern a country that has the nuclear fallout and wreckage of Fukushima Daiichi to clean up – a job that is to be done by a population that now needs more adult diapers than baby diapers. The recently elected Japanese hawks talk so much about the need for better defense, but they fail to see that this goal may have already been achieved. If you want to be safe from attack, wear an old coat and drive an aging, rusted car.
Martin Walker. "Japan's Looming Crisis." UPI.com. November 19, 2012.
Khosrow B. Semnani, Gary M. Sandquist. "The Next Chernobyl?" The New York Times. January 2, 2013.
A contrary view:
Joe Weisenthal. "Kyle Bass's Most Famous Trade Is A Disaster, And It Is Never Going To Work Out." Business Insider. May 20, 2012.