OECD Economic Surveys: Japan

Every 18 months
1999-012X (online)
1995-3062 (print)
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the Japanese economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Japan 2015

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15 Apr 2015
9789264232389 (EPUB) ; 9789264232372 (PDF) ;9789264232365(print)

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This 2015 OECD Economic Survey of Japan examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover enhancing innovation and dynamism; and reducing government debt.

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  • Basic statistics of Japan, 2013

    This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Japan were reviewed by the Committee on 2 March 2015. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 20 March 2015.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Randall S. Jones, Kohei Fukawa and Myungkyoo Kim under the supervision of Vincent Koen. Research assistance was provided by Lutécia Daniel.The previous Survey of Japan was issued in April 2013.Information about the latest as well as previous Surveys and more information about how Surveys are prepared is available at www.oecd.org/eco/surveys.

  • Executive summary
  • Assessment and recommendations
  • Progress in structural reforms

    Recommendations in the 2013 OECD Survey of Japan

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapters

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    • Enhancing dynamism and innovation in Japan's business sector

      Innovation is key to boosting economic growth in the face of a rapidly ageing population. While Japan spends heavily on education and R&D, appropriate framework conditions are essential to increase the return on such investments by strengthening competition, both domestic and international, and improving resource allocation. Upgrading corporate governance would encourage firms to maximise profits and invest their large cash reserves. To promote open innovation in a global framework, it is necessary to improve universities and expand their role in business R&D, while increasing international collaboration in R&D from its current low level. Venture capital-backed firms and start-ups should play a key role in commercialising innovation. To make venture investment a growth driver, it is important to expand the role of business angels and foster entrepreneurship. SMEs, which account for 70% of employment, should contribute more to innovation.

    • Achieving fiscal consolidation while promoting social cohesion

      With gross government debt of 226% of GDP, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory and puts the economy at risk. Japan needs a detailed and credible fiscal consolidation plan, including specific revenue increases and measures to control spending to restore its fiscal sustainability. The major concern on the spending side are social spending pressures in the context of rapid population ageing, making reforms to contain such spending a priority. Much of the consolidation, though, will have to be on the revenue side, primarily through hikes in the consumption tax rate beyond the 10% now planned for 2017. Fiscal consolidation should be accompanied by measures to promote social cohesion through the tax and benefit system and by breaking down labour market dualism. In particular, an earned income tax credit is a priority to assist the working poor.

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