Paul Lachine

L’expérience japonaise

NEWPORT BEACH – Après des années de petites adaptations, le Japon a initié un changement majeur de son paradigme politique. Les réactions qu’il a suscitées sont allées depuis le grand optimisme que le pays puisse enfin sortir d’un quart de siècle de stagnation économique, jusqu’à la crainte que le changement de cap spectaculaire des autorités puisse finalement faire empirer les choses. Mais, tandis que le débat se concentre naturellement sur les manœuvres économiques, financières et politiques du Japon, c’est ce qui se passe à l’étranger qui pourrait bien faire basculer la balance.

Le nouveau gouvernement du Premier Ministre Shinzo Abe a opté pour une approche révolutionnaire (au contraire d’une approche progressive) de politique économique qui comprend plusieurs initiatives, dont certaines étaient autrefois considérées comme invraisemblables, inconcevables, voire indésirables. Du doublement de la masse monétaire au stimulus budgétaire supplémentaire et aux réformes structurelles de grande ampleur, le nouveau paradigme politique n'est rien de moins que l'une des expériences les plus audacieuses en matière de politique économique de l'histoire d'après-guerre au Japon.

Pour démontrer leur sérieux, les responsables japonais se sont rapidement engagés à atteindre des cibles d’indicateurs mesurables. Du côté des inputs politiques, ils ont prévu et commencé à mettre en œuvre des achats de titres totalisant 75 milliards de dollars par mois (trois fois plus, en termes relatifs, que ce que la Réserve fédérale américaine achète actuellement dans son régime de politique monétaire non conventionnelle). Du côté des outputs, après de nombreuses années de déflation persistante (les prix ont baissé de 0,5% le mois dernier), le Japon vise désormais un taux d'inflation de 2% endéans les deux ans, soulignant ainsi son engagement à éviter un retrait prématuré du soutien monétaire à la croissance.

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