Japan’s Economy Sinks Deeper, Sees Worst Post-War Contraction

New Prime Minister faces daunting task of averting steeper recession.

Sohil Nikam

September 8, 2020

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Japan’s economy sank deeper in the second quarter, experiencing its worst postwar contraction. A big reason for this hit is, of course, the coronavirus crisis, which has affected the economy much more than many predicted it would. Japan, which happens to be the world’s third-largest economy shrank an annualised 28.1% in April-June, which is more than a preliminary reading of a 27.8% contraction, according to fresh data. A 4.7% drop in capital expenditure suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has even been hitting broader sectors of the economy.

These numbers come just days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned from office on account of his health problems. Today marks the official start of campaigning for all the possible candidates to become the new Prime Minister. 71-year-old Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is being seen as the top contender for the job, but he will have to face two younger contenders. One of them is former Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba and the other, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, both aged 63.

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