The FT reports this morning that:
In his tilt at reviving Japan’s fortunes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to take on some of the country’s more intransigent social monoliths: gender inequality, the agriculture lobby and the labour market being high on the list. Perhaps most quixotic of all, though, is the attempt to convince Japanese households to move their money out of savings and invest instead in Japanese stocks.
I added the emphasis and for very good reason.
It's profoundly annoying to see the FT perpetuating a myth that there is any difference between saving in a bank deposit account or government bonds and buying shares. There is not. They are all savings vehicles.
Buying a share is not an investment. Investing requires the creation of productive capacity. Shares don't do that. They are just a way of acquiring a right to a potential future income stream, just as bank deposit entitles the holder to a future rate of interest.
If Abe Shinzo got facts right then maybe the Japanese would believe him.
If the FT did its economic credibility might improve.
But given the error I have every sympathy for those Japanese who are reluctant to take the risk. If those selling the idea of share saving and even the financial media get such basic things wrong why should ordinary people pick up the consequences?