Masuzoe Win: No Panacea For Economy Despite Nuclear Boost

BMI View: With Yoichi Masuzoe's win at the Tokyo gubernatorial elections on February 9, we believe our power forecasts are well-placed for 2014, which project the restart of two nuclear power plants. Although the return of nuclear power is likely to help slow the pace of electricity price increases and the country's dwindling current account surplus, we maintain that they will be insufficient to revive the Japanese economy. Indeed, we note that the boost from expansionary fiscal and monetary stimulus is waning and there remain substantial obstacles preventing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from implementing his liberalisation plans.

Former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe was elected as the next governor for Tokyo in the gubernatorial elections held on February 9, 2014. He had served as the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare between 2007 and 2009, and ran in the elections as an independent candidate with the endorsement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Masuzoe won around 2.1mn votes according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website, defeating 15 other candidates including two who had promised to end nuclear power. The outgoing governor, Naoki Inose, had resigned in December 2013 over a money scandal. Although these election results are in line with our outlook for the Japanese power sector, we caution that nuclear plant restarts remain insufficient to revive the Japanese economy.

Masuzoe's Election Positive For Nuclear Power...

Electricity Prices Reaching New Highs
2011 Electricity Prices by Country, US$/MWH (LHS) and Japan Nationwide Consumer Price Index for Electricity based on 2003 prices (RHS)

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This article is tagged to:
Sector: Power, Renewables
Geography: Japan

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