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Grading Abenomics

TOKYO – It has been almost a year since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his plan to lift Japan’s economy out of two decades of deflation and recession. How has “Abenomics” fared so far?

Answering this question requires breaking Abenomics down into its three components – massive monetary easing, expansionary fiscal policy, and a long-term growth strategy – which Abe, referring to the tale of Motonari Mori, a sixteenth-century daimyo (feudal lord), calls the “three arrows.” According to legend, Mori instructed each of his three sons to snap an arrow in half. After they had succeeded, he told them to tie three arrows together, and break the whole bundle at once; none was able to do it.