Throughout history there are many examples of countries turning inwards or accepting people not exactly like them, it is the story of immigration policies. The story is reflected in how many see outsiders, how people see the job situation, and a wide variety of other emotions. Often countries seek a balance although weighted towards who is a natural citizen or who people think are natural citizens. Somewhere in the early 1400’s, the most outward country was China and it sent ships around the world, then a new emperor came to power and closed the country for 200 years. The world would be different had a different emperor come to power.
Japan is an island or a country made up of islands and when a country is an island, it can easily or seemingly easily close the borders. For centuries Japan was a relatively closed society, it opened up and then was beaten in WWII (along with Germany) and slowly opened up again in 1980s. When COVID stuck the world, Japan closed its borders and now 2 years afterwards it is slowly opening up.
In an article by James Griffiths of Reuters, people want to visit Japan and when Japan finally eased up its travel restrictions, searches by Hong Kongers for flights to Tokyo and Osaka soared 650 and 1,000% respectively according to travel agencies.
For Americans, going to Japan given the high dollar to yen conversion is relatively inexpensive. Sometimes a high dollar is an advantage.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is partly counting on the return of foreign tourists to help boost the economy. The government hopes to attract $34.5 billion in tourist spending over the next 12 months. Government data shows hotel employment down 22% between 2019 and 2021. More tourists equals more employment in the hospitality trades.
The tourists expected to come to Japan will likely coming from Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The source of 30% of visitors and 40% of total inbound consumption is China, but China still has many restrictions on travel. In 2019 a record 31.8 million tourists visited Japan.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, we all have some notion to be inward or outwards because it can mean no change or little change. It can mean people not respecting the unwritten rules which allow people to gather. There are many variations, but for the company to maintain and grow profits it has to be somewhat open for change, are your investments open?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.