Practical analysis for investment professionals
24 October 2013

Poll: Will the Fukushima Disaster Prevent Shinzo Abe from Achieving His Economic Goals?

Posted In: Economics

In a poll conducted earlier this week in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers whether they thought the Fukushima disaster will derail Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans for economic reform.

Do you feel that Japan’s Fukushima disaster will prevent the country from achieving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goals for economic reform?
Poll: Do you feel that Japan's Fukushima disaster will prevent the country from achieving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goals for economic reform?

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, Japan shut down its nuclear power fleet. This loss of nuclear power forced Japan to import substantially more oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The incremental demand from Japan has caused LNG prices to skyrocket to $17/mcf (thousand cubic feet) from a historical range of about $10 to $12/mcf.

This additional spending on energy imports is dragging down Japan’s current account surplus. In August 2013, Japan reported a monthly current account surplus of only 1.5 trillion yen, down 63% from August 2012. Nevertheless, in our global poll, about 63% of respondents said they believe that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms will offset the consequences of the Fukushima disaster, while 32% expect the reforms to fail.

Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

About the Author(s)
Ron Rimkus, CFA

Ron Rimkus, CFA, was Director of Economics & Alternative Assets at CFA Institute, where he wrote about economics, monetary policy, currencies, global macro, behavioral finance, fixed income and alternative investments, such as gold and bitcoin (among other things). Previously, he served as SVP and Director of Large-cap Equity Products for BB&T Asset Management, where he led a team of research analysts, 300 regional portfolio managers, client service specialists, and marketing staff. He also served as a Senior Vice President and Lead Portfolio Manager of large-cap equity products at Mesirow Financial. Rimkus earned a BA degree in economics from Brown University and his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Topical Expertise: Alternative Investments · Economics

3 thoughts on “Poll: Will the Fukushima Disaster Prevent Shinzo Abe from Achieving His Economic Goals?”

  1. Eklovya says:

    Hi Ron,
    This is in-fact a really good analysis of the after effects of Japan’s Fukushima disaster. The global poll of course is in support of the PM. Kudos to the governance of Japan, possibly the only country which could survive this major disaster.

  2. Sigh westberry says:

    the Fukushima disaster is still very much in its early stages, the second year of possibly 80 years plus at a cost of about one trillion USD, and will be a serious strain on Japan Economy long after Abe and his policies are in the grave and forgotten. At least one Russian leader believed Chernobyl was a major factor in the collapse of the USSR.
    Abe has yet to even fire his so called third arrow!

  3. Human rights experts rap U.N. report on Fukushima radiation
    OCT 25, 2013 The Japan Times
    Human rights experts, including a U.N. special rapporteur, are criticizing a U.N. scientific report dismissing concerns about the effects of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster on the Japanese public.
    Speaking Thursday at an event organized by U.S. and Japanese nongovernmental groups, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to health Anand Grover took issue with the report’s conclusion that “there is nothing to worry about” for members of the public exposed to radiation from Fukushima.
    The report was prepared by the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation.

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