Although Japan and its related exchange traded funds (ETFs) have received a lot of attention lately because of the ups and downs with the yen carry trade, new political developments have put the country in the spotlight again. Japan had recent diplomacy breakthroughs with India as well as Indonesia. Last week, Japan and Indonesia signed a bilateral trade agreement that will eliminate more than 90% of the tariffs between the two nations, says Carl Delfeld for ETF XRAY.
Also last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe completed an encouraging meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where the two agreed to double bilateral trade to $20 billion over the next three years, according to Rajesh Mahapatra for the Associated Press. In another high-profile move, Abe decided to re-arrange his cabinet, choosing to elect older, more experienced politicians after his party’s recent election defeat. The flurry of political activity in Japan could be one factor in its ETF’s recent upswing. Currently though, the iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) is down 1.7% year-to-date.
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