Home » Posts tagged 'japan'

Tag Archives: japan

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

China & Japan Dump Treasuries As Dollar’s Reserve Status Slumps To 5 Year Lows

Treasury International Capital flows showed Brazil the biggest buyer of Treasurys in August (followed by Ireland and France), but it was China and ‘ally’ Japan that dumped the most Treasurys in the month…

Brazil is Steve Mnuchin’s best friend…

As China reduced their holdings of US Treasurys for the 3rd straight month…

Japan flipped to a seller again in August back to the lowest holdings since October 2011…

And while the Saudis were buying in August…

the broad trend among other majors has been selling…

All of which has driven the USDollar’s share of global central bank reserve to its lowest since 2013

And, according to economist Zach Pandl at Goldman Sachs, Washington’s aggressive policy against Moscow could be the biggest driver behind the recent fall of the dollar’s share of global central-bank reserves, who noted that Russia’s Central Bank sold some $85 billion of its $150 billion holding of the US assets from April through June after the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Russian businessmen, companies and government officials.

At the beginning of April, as RT reports, Washington expanded its anti-Russian sanction list, including seven Russian tycoons, 12 companies and 17 senior government officials over alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and according to Pandl, the co-head of global FX and emerging-market strategy, the US policy of unilateral tariff hikes and sanctions is putting at risk the greenback that is still dominating the global currency reserves.

“The Central Bank of Russia likely sold a large portion of its dollar-denominated assets, and perhaps all of its US Treasuries held by US custodians, and transferred them to euro-denominated and yuan-denominated bonds in the second quarter,” the economist said.

“This would account for more than half of the decline in the share of dollar reserves during the quarter.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Chinese Air Force Holds Live-Fire War Drill In South China Sea Days After US Exercise

China Central Television, as per the Twitter account of the official People’s Daily newspaper, reported Saturday that the Chinese military deployed fighter jets and bombers to conduct live-fire war drills in the disputed South China Sea, just days after the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and nuclear-capable US B-52 strategic bombers held exercises over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan on September 27.

The report said dozens of jet fighters from the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force from the Southern Theater Command on early Saturday conducted “live-fire drills to tests pilots’ assault, penetration and precision-strike capabilities at sea,” said The Japan Times.

Beijing on Thursday blasted the US and Japan exercise over the East China Sea, calling them a “provocation.”

“China’s principle and standpoint on the South China Sea are always clear,” Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said, according to Chinese state-run media. “China firmly opposes U.S. military aircraft’s provocation in the South China Sea, and will take all necessary measures.”

Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun News said the joint drills between the US and Japan were highly “unusual,” as what we pointed out last week, a China-Japan maritime crisis is inevitable over the disputed Senkaku Islands.

It seems that Thursday’s move was aimed at keeping China in check amid increasing tensions between Beijing and Washington, including an intensifying trade war.

But in a tit-for-tat effort, China hit back with war drills of their own on Saturday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang criticized unnamed countries (US, United Kingdom, and France) for using freedom of navigation and overflight as excuses to disrupt other countries’ sovereignty and security, disturbing regional peace and stability.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Japan Braces For Typhoon Trami: ‘Life Threatening Impacts’

Japan Braces For Typhoon Trami: ‘Life Threatening Impacts’

As Japan braces for typhoon Trami, weather experts are warning that this storm could have “life-threatening impacts” when it hits. Trami will slam into the Ryukyu Islands and barrel into mainland Japan with destructive winds, flooding rain, and an inundating storm surge Friday night into Monday.

According to AccuWeather, residents should be preparing themselves for what could be a major devastating event.  Residents should be making the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their property against this dangerous typhoon, which is equal to a category 3 hurricane. Those living in the coastal communities and in flood-prone areas should pay attention to local authorities and heed evacuation orders.

Experts have said that at this time, all locations in Japan are at risk for impacts from Trami in the coming days. “Trami remains on track to blast the Ryukyu Islands Friday night into Sunday morning, with mainland Japan bracing for the blow Sunday into Monday,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. “Time is running out for preparations in the Ryukyu Islands,” Pydynowski said.

Major flooding and mudslides are also possible and Pydynowski is warning everyone to not go outside. “Anyone outside during the height of the storm can endure bodily harm or be fatally struck by flying debris,” Pydynowski said. All of Kyushu, Shikoku and western Honshu will face torrential rain that can trigger widespread flooding and mudslides. This includes some of the same communities that endured the historic flooding over the summer.

The heaviest rain may fall north and west of Tokyo, but wind gusts of 95-145 km/h (60-90 mph) can still whip the city on Sunday night. Haneda Airport may be forced to shut down for a time. While the drier weather will quickly return for Monday, the morning commute and daily routines can still be disrupted due to any damage, littered roads or rail lines or power outages left in the wake of Trami.

 

Why Can’t Japan Kick Coal And Nuclear?

Why Can’t Japan Kick Coal And Nuclear?

Coal

Earlier this year we reported on a startling anomaly in the global energy market that even the experts couldn’t have predicted. Just one nation, alone against the greening tides, was turning back to coal–Japan. Now, half a year later, a newly released report shows that Japanese financial institutions have funneled US$92 billion into coal and nuclear development—a sum bigger than the gross domestic product of Sri Lanka – in the months between January 2013 and July 2018 alone.

Energy Finance in Japan 2018: Funding Climate Change and Nuclear Risk was commissioned by a climate change-focused non-government organization (NGO) called 350.org based in the United States. The study found that the Japanese finance industry gave US$80 billion in loans and underwriting services, the majority (50 percent) of which went straight to coal development, with the other half split between nuclear and other fossil fuel resource companies. The other US$12 billion went to bonds and shares in the same industries.

Among the 151 Japanese financial institutions analyzed in the Energy Finance in Japan 2018study, only 38 of them were not involved with coal or nuclear energy projects. A similar 350.org study from last year shows that Japanese insurance companies represent a large proportion of investors in domestic and international coal industries. Japan’s single biggest investor in coal for the five-year period studied was Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), followed by Nippon Life Insurance (NLI) and Nomura Holdings.

These numbers mark a stunning turnaround for Japan, which at one point was almost entirely dependent on nuclear, a far cleaner, more efficient energy source than coal. So why the about turn? There is actually a very clear source of Japan’s changing energy attitudes: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

9/11 In Context

9/11 In Context

Only with context can we gain insight and perspective into the horrible, barbaric 9/11 attack.

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Spooks, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror

Scores of government officials throughout the world have admitted (either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos) to carrying out – or seriously proposing – false flag attacks:

(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this, this and this.

(2) A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked several attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. The staged attacks included:

  • The German radio station at Gleiwitz [details below]
  • The strategic railway at Jabłonków Pass, located on the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia
  • The German customs station at Hochlinden
  • The forest service station in Pitschen
  • The communications station at Neubersteich
  • The railroad station in Alt-Eiche
  • A woman and her companion in Katowice

The details of the Gleiwitz radio station incident include:

On the night of 31 August 1939, a small group of German operatives dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content of the message). The Germans’ goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Japan Paralyzed After Strongest Typhoon In 25 Years Makes Landfall, Killing 8

Typhoon Jebi struck the heart of one of Japan’s largest metro areas on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and shutting down Osaka’s main international airport indefinitely, leaving close to 3,000 people trapped inside. The storm – the strongest on earth so far in 2018 – made landfall on Tuesday, bringing widespread flooding and winds of up to 130 miles an hour; it paralyzed swaths of the country shuttering shops, factories and amusement parks.

The storm was the strongest to make a direct hit on the nation’s main islands in 25 years, causing high tides that flooded Kansai International Airport, a key gateway for flights from China and other Asian countries that was built on an artificial island in 1994.

The typhoon prompted government evacuation orders for more than 49,000 people across southern Japan, with an additional 2 million people advised to flee, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Early in the afternoon on Tuesday, an oil tanker unmoored by the storm crashed into the only bridge that connects Kansai International Airport in Osaka Bay to the mainland. The Coast Guard was using a helicopter and patrol boats to rescue crew members, the public broadcaster NHK said.

The storm traversed Japan’s main island of Honshu before traveling up its western coast, leaving a trail of death. Among the fatalities was the owner of a warehouse that collapsed on him, news reports said.


Replying to @AFP  Strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years makes landfall prompting evacuation warnings http://u.afp.com/oBQ8


At least 700 flights have been canceled across Japan. Kansai Airport will not reopen on Wednesday. The local police said that travelers stranded at the airport, which sits on a man-made island, had been issued emergency water, bread and blankets, and that ferries were expected to start bringing people to safety Wednesday morning.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

North Korea Blasts “Double-Dealing” US After Pompeo’s Canceled Trip

The war drums are starting to beat again.

The North Korean media lashed out at the “double-dealing” US for “hatching a criminal plot” against Pyongyang, days after Donald Trump told Secretary of State Mike Pompe to cancel his upcoming trip to North Korea. In an editorial, Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling party, said that US units based in Okinawa, Japan were staging drills aimed at “infiltration into Pyongyang.” The paper was citing an unnamed South Korean media outlet.

The US “is busy staging secret drills involving man-killing special units while having a dialogue with a smile on its face,” the paper wrote, adding that Pyongyang cannot help but note “the double-dealing attitudes” of Washington.

Resorting to language last week during the peak of the tensions between the US and North Korea, the newspaper said that “such acts prove that the US is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK [North Korea] and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment.”

The editorial, which did not mention the Pompeo visit, urged Washington to give up the “pointless military gamble” and implement the Singapore agreement, in which the leaders pledged to work towards a complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

It wasn’t clear which drills the North was referring to; Okinawa is host to nearly half of the 47,000 US troops based in Japan. The troops repeatedly hold military exercises in the area.

A spokesman at the US Embassy in Seoul told Reuters that he had no information about the military exercise mentioned in the paper.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five Trillion Dollars! Doomed US Pensions’ Shortfall Now The Size Of Japan’s Economy

Scores of public pensions across the United States are so massively underfunded that the shortfall is roughly equal to Japan’s GDP – the world’s third-largest economy, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

State and local pension plans in the U.S. now have less than three- quarters of the money they need to meet their promised payouts, their lowest level since at least 2001, according to Public Plans Database figures weighted by plan size. In dollar terms the hole for state and local pensions is now $5 trillion, according to Moody’s Investors Service. –WSJ

If governments don’t increase taxes, convince pensioners to take less than they were promised or divert funds from elsewhere, an increasing number of funds face insolvency, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In Kentucky, for example, a major pension for state employees had around 16% of what it needs to fulfill its obligations based on 2017 fiscal year figures, according to the Public Plans database which tracks state and local pension funds. A Chicago municipal employee fund had less than 30% of what it needed during the same fiscal year, while New Jersey’s state pension is so underfunded it faces insolvency in 12 years according to a Pew Charitable Trusts Study.

For an example of what happens when a pension hits a brick wall, look no further than Central Falls, Rhode Island – a city of 19,359 which was forced to cut monthly checks to retired police and firefighters by as much as 55% as the entire town tried to stave off bankruptcy. Alas, the town still filed in 2011 – and while its financial situation has improved, retired city employees aren’t getting their full pensions back.

Paul Grenon

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Stocks Drop As Trade War Returns; Japanese Bond Rout Leads To Emergency Margin Call

The latest trade war truce lasted less than a day, and after stocks jumped yesterday following an early report that Mnuchin had resumed trade talks with his Chinese counterpart, a late Tuesday report that the Trump admin is planning to increase the tariff rate on some $200BN of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% led to an immediate slide in risk assets around the globe, and this morning global stocks and futures were a sea of red despite Apple’s stellar results which helped lift the Nasdaq.

In response, China again warned the U.S. against “blackmailing and pressuring” it over trade. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back if the U.S. further increases tariffs as it now contemplated. “If the U.S. takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests,” spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

The return of trade war tensions initially sent the dollar higher across the board, while the Yuan tumbled, with the offshore Yuan tumbling to a one year low of 6.8642 against the dollar, before the PBOC intervened again, and the onshore Yuan reversed losses mid-afternoon after a large Chinese bank was seen selling dollars. According to Bloomberg, at least one big Chinese bank started to sell dollars aggressively around 6.83 yuan per USD, and those flows disappeared after rate went to 6.82. A large Chinese bank also sold dollars onshore earlier in the day, spurring other banks to follow.

The big overnight move, however, wasn’t in China but in Japan, where one day after the BOJ tweaked its monetary policy while leaving its YCC largely intact, bond traders tried to find the new tolerance breaking point for 10Y JGB.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BOJ Intervenes For Third Time In A Week: Offers To Buy Unlimited Bonds To Stabilize Markets

Ahead of the potentially dramatic BOJ decision tonight, the Japanese bond market is becoming increasingly jittery.

After 10Y JGBs sold off early in the session, with yields rising as high as 0.11% – the highest level in almost a year and a half – as the market continues to test the Bank of Japan’s intentions ahead of its policy decision, on Monday morning, the BOJ intervened again, offering to buy an unlimited amount of bonds for a third time in a week.

While unlimited in size, the central bank offer, made at 0.1% for bonds with 5-10 year maturities, drew some 1.6 trillion yen ($14.4 billion) of bids which were all accepted, the central bank reported just around 1am EDT. The 10-year yield pared the day’s advance after the move was announced.

Following the announcement, the 10-year JGB yield slid half basis point lower to 0.095%, compared with the 0.11% touched before the operation. This is over 3x more than the close of 0.03% just ten days ago ahead of media reports the BOJ will adjusted the parameters of its YCC.

As Bloomberg notes, Monday’s purchase was significantly larger than the 94 billion yen bought in the latest prior on Friday, as prevailing bond prices were below where the BOJ was buying, allow investors to take advantage of the free money.

The fixed rate of 0.10% for the operations on Friday and Monday was lower than the 0.11% offered at four previous operations for the five-to-10 year maturities. Monday’s fixed-rate operation was the seventh since the policy was introduced, and the first time it has conducted three operations within a single week as shown below.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Radioactive Cesium-137 From Fukushima Found In California Wine

Following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan – which left Japanese residents contending with toxic water and radioactive wild boars, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said that particles of radioactive fallout which made its way to the Western United States and elsewhere was no biggie and didn’t pose a health risk.

California wine lovers will get to test that theory, after researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) discovered cesium-137 in several golden-state vintages. The researchers tested 18 bottles of California rosé and cabernet sauvignon from 2009 onward – finding increased levels of the radioactive isotope in bottles produced after the Fukushima disaster. The cabernets had double the radiation of the other wine, according to the study.

“We can measure some radioactive level that is much higher than the usual level,” said Michael Pravikoff, a physicist at a French research center who worked on the study.

The French research team has in recent years examined wines from around the world, trying to correlate the level of radioactive material with the date the wine grapes were picked.

Wines made around major nuclear events, including American and Soviet nuclear tests during the Cold War and the Chernobyl accident, should show higher levels of radioactive isotopes, called cesium-137, according to the researchers. The man-made isotope cannot be found in nature and would be present only at certain levels after the nuclear events. –NYT

While ingesting cesium-137 elevates one’s risk of cancer, the radioactive particles found in California wine “are not seen as a health hazard” according to Pravikoff, who said: “These levels are so low, way below the natural radioactivity that’s everywhere in the world.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Biggest Monetary Experiments In History: Part 2

The Biggest Monetary Experiments In History: Part 2

In part one we discussed the troubling issues in Europe (in case you missed it, you can read it here).

Today… Japan

The story of Japan is really a story that begins with globalisation.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, globalisation is described as:

“The process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.”

It is, in a nutshell, international trade, and one of the things it’s done is add huge swathes of the global workforce to the world’s economy.

I bring up globalisation because of what it’s done to the global labour supply.

Realise this labour supply wasn’t Joe-middle-class-Sixpack with a Beemer, a two story house in the suburbs, and a white picket fence.

When most people think of  this workforce, they picture small brown people in shabby clothes toiling in sweatshops in China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.

And by and large that’s it.

We’re not talking about Joe Sixpack. No, this was Amit in Bangladesh with 45 kids, working 29 hours a day, and paid the equivalent of a Happy Meal at Mackers.

And when we got such a massive disparity in costs, market forces went to work and did what market forces do.

The supply of goods produced exploded, and the cost of labour on a relative global basis fell.

I guess we could call this a labour supply shock, and what this did was it helped keep wages suppressed in developed markets while those in developing markets rose. This is how Amit raised his living standard so he can afford his 5th wife.

Now, the flip side of suppressed wages in the developed world was, of course, ever cheaper imported goods as the cost of those has plummeted. Declining real wages in the developed world have been cushioned by deflation in consumer goods.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Both Japan and Turkey are two important states in the US’s strategy for controlling the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Both countries have economies that are competitive in comparison to their neighbors, and both often conveniently find themselves allied to countries within Washington’s orbit. Japan has a good relationship with South Korea, and Turkey (until a few years ago) had a privileged relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Keeping in mind that the US aims to prolong and consolidate its regional dominance, Washington has always tried to have excellent relations with these two countries as a way of ensuring its constant presence in regional affairs.

Japan and Turkey have perfectly fulfilled America’s role for them in military, financial and economic terms. Ankara, for example, is a key part of NATO and offers military bases like the Incirlik Air Base, allowing for US military influence in the Middle East. Qatar, for example, is a satellite of Turkey, thanks to the shared religious bonds of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not by coincidence, one of the most important US air bases is located in Qatar, helping further lock in America’s regional presence. The goal, of course, is geopolitical, highlighting America’s ongoing confrontation with Iran, Russia and China. The United States tends to control certain geographical areas because of its military and economic power that is expressed directly or indirectly through compliant allies like Turkey and Japan.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Sells Off Record Amount of US Treasury Bonds

Russia Sells Off Record Amount of US Treasury Bonds

Russia Sells Off Record Amount of US Treasury Bonds

The US Treasury Department report for April published on June 15 revealed that Russia sold $47.4 billion out of the $96.1 it had held in Treasury bonds (T-bonds). In March, Moscow cut its Treasury holdings by $1.6 billion. In February, Russia reduced its bond portfolio by $9.3 billion. Other holders did it too. Japan sold off about $12 billion, China liquidated roughly $7 billion. Ireland ditched over $17 billion.

The tariff wars unleashed by Washington stirred fears that financial markets may be in for a rough ride with American treasuries dumped by some partners, including such major holders as China and Japan, each holding over $1 trillion in bonds.

Russia has cut its holdings in American securities following numerous rounds of sanctions imposed by Washington against Moscow and amid the ongoing trade wars between the US and its allies and partners.

This is bad news and ominous warning for Washington. The foreign demand is critical to offset an expected surge in federal borrowing needs. The Treasury Department needs to finance the huge spending bill along with tax cuts that were passed by Congress in December 2017. It plans to auction off around $1.4 trillion in treasuries this year with a glut of sellers and a shortage of buyers in the bond market the government plans to add $600 billion to.

The companies buy back their own shares to boost capitalization. The stock prices are overvalued. The FRS monetary policy does not spur economic growth amid the growing national debt. The bond market does not look attractive anymore. Looks like there is a big change on the horizon that nations will dump US debt in case of trade war.

And the supremacy of the US dollar is not as solid as many people believe it is. A sell-by date as a global reserve currency is looming. The process of de-dollarization is gradually gaining momentum.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Patient Zero, Japan, Can Tell Us About China & The Developed World At Large

What Patient Zero, Japan, Can Tell Us About China & The Developed World At Large

To see the future, sometimes you have to look to the past.  Japan is patient zero in the global epidemic of slowing growth and although Japan was assumed to be the emerging world power in the ’80’s, we now know better.  The title of emergent power now rests with China…and for the same reasons it didn’t work out for Japan, it won’t work out for China.  To make my case, I’ll use UN population data coupled with EIA total primary energy data (cumulative energy consumption from coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables), plus EIA fore-ward looking forecast data (the International Energy Outlook, 2017 or IEO’17).

First, Japan.

The Japanese 15 to 60 year old population peaked in 1993 and declined over 15% by 2018.  The core population will continue falling, down 24% by 2030, and 34% by 2040.  Energy consumption growth began stalling in 1997, consumption peaked in 2006, and has declined 17% from the ’06 peak through 2015. However, the EIA estimates the falls seen since ’06 will cease shortly and energy consumption will stabilize through 2040.

The chart below breaks down the annual change in the 15 to 60 year old Japanese population versus the annual change in energy consumption.  The twin deceleration should be fairly obvious.

Below, the actual data as above versus the EIA IEO’17 forecast.  While the core population will fall at an even faster rate, the EIA forecasts energy consumption will stabilize (against all logical rationale)?!?
To round out the picture, the Japanese 15 to 60 year old population versus 60+ year old population.  All growth is currently in the 60+ population until it too is projected to peak in 2040 and begin declining.

What does this mean for China?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase