In response to this stalled development of women in the workforce, Prime Minister Abe pledged to create a society in which ‘all women can shine’. He acknowledged that women had long been an under-utilised resource in the Japanese economy and promised to boost female labour participation rates, increase the presence of women in corporate board rooms and improve gender equality.
Deflation driven by loss of global demand like this is not easy to combat, as the Chinese are now realising. For commodity prices to be where they are now, it is clear that the world as led by China is suffering a slump in demand, which suggests that economic growth is much lower than the world’s stock markets are trying to reflect.
While cooperation between China and Russia looks to be at its strongest since the Sino-Soviet split, it is extremely one-sided, benefitting China but offering little to Russia in return. The natural counterweight to China is Europe and Russia working together. To restore its strength, Russia must shift back to a course of engagement and friendship with Europe.
Last Thursday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially dedicated what many are calling ‘the new Suez Canal,’ an expansion that will run parallel to the original canal. In addition to allowing for more traffic to pass through and reducing ships’ waiting times, Sisi claims the ‘new canal’ will grow the country’s economy exponentially.
For the deal’s backers, it provides the best hope since the Iranian revolution of bringing Iran back into the international community. For its critics, it is far too soft, still leaving a potential Iranian nuclear bomb on the table in the still quite near future and stripping away many of the levers of influence the outside world had.