Abe and Japan standing tall? Economic implications of the Prime Minister’s European trip, June 2013


As the second-tallest Japanese prime minister in the modern era, Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe stood tall among other world leaders in the “family photo” at the recent 2013 G8
Summit, held at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland. The image seemed somehow symbolic of
the fact that Japan has enjoyed an increased prominence in the global economy this year, as
the effects of the new LDP administration’s bold economic stimulus programme have started
to take hold. The summit trip was part of a tour of European capitals which gave Mr. Abe the
chance to make the case for Abenomics in person, and to seek to boost Japan’s trade and
investment relations with the EU in a number of areas. This discussion paper looks at how
Abenomics is raising Japan’s profile in Europe, and considers the economic goals of this trip
– in particular, the goal of doubling Japan-bound FDI – and the likely effects of the “three
arrows” in achieving these goals.