This is the big problem with fiat currency – eventually the temptation to print more of it when you are in a jam becomes too powerful to resist. In a surprise move on Friday, the Bank of Japan dramatically increased the size of the quantitative easing program that it has been conducting. This sent Japanese stocks soaring and the Japanese yen plunging.
Experts warn Japan’s medical system is not ready for an invasion of potentially deadly redback spiders, with limited supplies of the anti-venom available to authorities. About a dozen of the venomous Australian spiders were found in a small park in a residential area of Mitaka in Tokyo, terrifying local parents. The redbacks were quickly captured and exterminated by authorities but government official Motosugu Tanaka said they would not be able to stop them from spreading.
The sudden eruption of Mount Ontake over the weekend, which is believed to have killed dozens of people, was a reminder of Japan’s vulnerability to its many active volcanoes. Gas continued to pour from the ruptured crater Monday as emergency workers tried to reach the bodies of hikers trapped on the peak when it roared into life. Ontake is one of 110 live volcanoes dotted throughout the seismically-active country, including Mount Fuji, the country’s tallest mountain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes some 300,000 climbers each year.