In Neuffer's last column for TSC, he outlines the challenges the Japanese prime minister faces in the months ahead.
And the opposition's ongoing boycott of parliament isn't necessarily a bad thing for the Japanese economy.
But public concern is not yet great enough to force a new push for reform.
In actions at the end of 1999, old political and bureaucratic concerns appeared to re-emerge.
The prime minister vows to fudge on his promises and cut down on the pizza.
With the markets unfazed by the data, the prime minister has an even stronger mandate to continue his fiscally robust economic policies.
The WTO's meeting to launch the Millennial Round of trade talks includes contentious issues over agricultural trade and steel dumping.
The Japanese prime minister announced a hefty spending package last week, but the political fallout could mean risks to the markets.
John Neuffer's column will return soon.
After focusing for months on corporate restructuring, Obuchi is finally turning his attention to smaller and more entrepreneurial companies.