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ECONOMICS REPORT - A Credit Downgrade for Japan, but Some Signs of Hope

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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

This week, Moody's Investors Service lowered its credit rating for Japanese government debt. The credit rating agency downgraded Japan one step from Aa2 to Aa3.

(SOUND)

Finance Minster Yoshihiko Noda said trust in the economy "will not be shaken" by Wednesday's action.

Moody's said it acted because of Japan's large budget deficits and buildup in government debt since the two thousand nine global recession. Japan's public debt is twice the size of its economy. Japan has the world's third-largest economy.

Moody's said another reason was Japan's political situation. Japan has had five prime ministers since two thousand six. The current prime minister, Naoto Kan, is expected to resign soon.

Japan struggled more than many other countries after the worldwide financial crisis. This month, Japan said its economy shrank at an annual rate of 1.3 percent from April through June. It was the third quarter of shrinkage in a row.

The earthquake and tsunami in March hurt manufacturing. Shortages of parts led to a big drop in sales and profit for Toyota, the world's top selling carmaker.

Yet the report on the economy was good news. Economists had expected a bigger decrease following the disasters and the nuclear crisis that followed.

But there is concern that a rise in the yen could hurt growth. A high exchange value makes Japanese exports costlier and less competitive. This week, Japan announced a program of one hundred billion dollars in loans to support business spending. The goal is to help weaken the yen and lift economic growth.

Bond traders said Moody's downgrade of Japan was not a surprise. The action had the expected effect of raising borrowing costs for the Japanese government. Still, at about one percent, Japan enjoys the lowest borrowing costs of any major developed nation.

Earlier this month, another credit rating agency downgraded United States government debt for the first time. Standard and Poor's blamed the political fight over the nation's debt.

Foreigners hold much of the public debt of the United States and some other countries. But ninety-five percent of Japan's debt securities are held by Japanese, mostly banks and retirement funds.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Kan met with American Vice President Joe Biden. Mr. Biden visited Japan at the end of a trip to Asia.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. For more business news and to learn English, go to www.unsv.com. I'm Mario Ritter.

网友的学习评论(6条):
作者:lvjiaying1984
It is a question that involves curious students why the Chinese economy could be both socialist and market-driven. We all know that in a market-driven economy, the selling and buying are motivated by the market and in a socialist economy, it is governed by the society. So why Chinese economy could be socialist and market-driven is an issue that interests many students specializing in economy and some other subjects the like. When the nation was first settled, Mao decided that he would be very
作者:lvjiaying1984
happy to follow the leads of Soviet where the type of economy was market-driven. But because capitalism is an type of society which cannot be surpassed, when the socialism was settled, a lot of problem arose from this early socialism. And in the end, the Soviet collapsed, changing into many small nations. At this time, the leaders of China's economy began to understand that there was something wrong with the type of economy. They thought that since China had established socialism as its economy,
作者:lvjiaying1984
it was nearly impossible to get back to capitalism. So the top people, especially Deng began to think of a way that could contribute something to China's economy. Because the productivity hasn't been so strong as to make China's economy socialist, the better solution to solve the problem is to use market-driven economy . So China established market-driven economy in the nineteen eighties. And it was announced that it is feasible to possess individual properties and it was feasible to be rich
作者:lvjiaying1984
ahead of others. It is recommended that the people who have the ability to make them rich can become true, virtually unheard of success when in the socialist economy. But it is a long time before the nations in the world acknowledged China as a society where the economy is market-driven. Other nations doubted that China was not a full market-driven society. But now after some negotiations with other nations throughout the world, China has finally entered the WTO, a world economy organizations,
作者:lvjiaying1984
promoting low tax and free competition between the countries. Now China has been the second largest economy in the world. And China's economy is still developing fast, faster than any other country. I hope that China will be the first largest country in the world, fighting successfully U.S.A in the future. So at that time, China will declare to be the richest country in the world. And as a Chinese elderly man, I will be interested to see what will come along afterwards. Wish our country success!
作者:Youncy
Chinese economy is nothing but a power-driven one.Look at the house price,why it is so high? who gets the most profits?Businessmen,no,the country.How about the life of the majority-----the farmers? So poor and helpless.Why the people who produce food without food? Where have their achievements gone? Who are surporting the good lives of those big guys? And how the big leaders treat us people? It's time to wake up.
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