Current Institutional Affiliation
Economics Correspondent, European General Bureau, Asahi Shimbun

Award Information

Abe Fellowship for Journalists 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Staff Writer, Foreign News Section, Asahi Shimbun
Fiscal Reforms for Transparency Improvement in the U.S, Japan and Eurozone

Maintaining fiscal sustainability has been regarded as a crucial issue for developed economies since the recent financial crisis broke out. Japan's government debt is equivalent to 214% of GDP, which is the highest among the OECD countries. As we saw in the euro crisis, once confidence in nations is lost in the financial market, the damage to everyday life will be irreparable. Fiscal reform will be unavoidable for Japan. In comparison with the indebted countries in Europe, Japan has similarities in terms of poor fiscal transparency. Academic literatures prove that it is empirically relevant between fiscal soundness and transparency. As one of the responses to the crisis, European Union required Member States to establish independent fiscal council in order to improve fiscal transparency. The U.S is known as one of the most fiscally transparent countries. The Congressional budgetary office has the largest number of staffs as independent fiscal council in the world. While the U.S faced "Fiscal Cliff", CBO played significant role on policy debates. Japan doesn't have any independent fiscal council, but some MPs pushed the Cabinets to establish it.. I would like to compare policies regarding fiscal transparency in the U.S, Europe and Japan. I will research the progressive approaches for transparency improvement in the U.S. As Japan lack transparency, I believe that there are some lessons to learn. Since fiscal situations in local governments have also deteriorated both in Japan and the U.S, I will research fiscal reforms in local governments as well.