Japan unemployment rises further

Latest economic figures show persisting weakness in world's second largest economy.

    Japan is the world's second largest economy, but has the industrialised world's biggest public debt [AFP]

    But concern is mounting that Beijing's efforts to cool China's economy, together with doubts over both eurozone and US demand, may hit the Japanese economy.

    "Industrial production continues to show an upward movement although it has been pausing temporarily in part," the ministry report said.

    Political challenge

    Companies surveyed by the ministry expected factory output to fall 0.2 per cent in July, however a 2 per cent climb is expected in August.

    The jobs-to-applicants ratio also fell to 0.48, which means that there are 48 jobs available for 100 job-seeking candidates.

    This data poses a challenge for Naoto Kan, the country's prime minister. His government must balance Japan's uncertain economic reality with plans to cut downthe industrialised world's biggest public debt.

    Kan, the former finance minister, took over from Yukio Hatoyamain June and is the country's third prime minister in five years.

    His party, the DPJ, won a landslide victory in a general election last September after promising to cut fiscal waste and focus spending on consumers.

    But tables turned when the ruling coalition suffered a major blow by losing its majority in upper house elections on July 11.

    Kan's ratings fellafter he launched plans to increase Japan's sales taxwhile failing to convince voters that he had a clear plan for fixing the country's economic problems.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".