OECD Economic Surveys: Japan

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1999-012X (en ligne)
1995-3062 (imprimé)
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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 2013

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23 avr 2013
Pages :
9789264182950 (PDF) ;9789264182912(imprimé)

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OECD's 2013 Economic Survey of Japan examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapter is titled From tragedy to revitalisation.

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  • Basic Statistics of Japan, 2011

    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 25 February 2013. 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 21 March 2013.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Randall S. Jones, Satoshi Urasawa 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 2011.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

    After two severe shocks – the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake – Japan fell into recession for the third time in five years. The public debt ratio has risen steadily for two decades, to over 200% of GDP. Strong and protracted consolidation is therefore necessary to restore fiscal sustainability, which is Japan's paramount policy challenge. However, this will slow nominal GDP growth, making fiscal adjustment still more difficult. Hence, exiting deflation and boosting Japan’s growth potential are key to addressing the fiscal predicament. In this light, the new government’s resolve to revitalise the economy through a three-pronged strategy combining bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy and a growth strategy, is most encouraging.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake – the worst disaster in Japan's post-war history – killed around 20 000 people and caused enormous physical damage. Japan's initially strong recovery from the earthquake and tsunami stalled in mid-2012, leaving output 2½ per cent below the peak recorded in 2008 prior to the global economic and financial crisis (). Japan has experienced three recessions in five years. The key challenges are to achieve sustained growth and fiscal sustainability following these two shocks.

  • From tragedy to the revitalisation of Japan

    The March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake was the worst disaster in Japan's post-war history. Reconstruction from this tragedy highlights some of the structural reform challenges faced by Japan. Overcoming these challenges should lead to the revitalisation of the economy, in part by making the Tohoku region a model for Japanese agriculture, while restructuring the electricity sector. The high level and distortionary nature of agriculture support imposes burdens on consumers and taxpayers, undermines the dynamism of the farming sector and complicates Japan’s participation in comprehensive bilateral and regional trade agreements that would boost its growth potential. The priority is to shift to measures decoupled from production and gradually reduce border measures. The reduced role of nuclear power following the Fukushima accident makes it necessary to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy, which requires setting a strong and consistent price for carbon. It also depends on creating a more competitive electricity sector by reducing the dominance of the ten regional monopolies through ownership unbundling of generation and transmission and expanding interconnection capacity, while introducing real-time pricing.

  • Restoring Japan's fiscal sustainability

    With gross government debt surpassing 200% of GDP, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory. In addition to robust nominal GDP growth, correcting two decades of budget deficits requires a large and sustained fiscal consolidation based on a detailed and credible multi-year plan that includes measures to control spending and raise revenue. On the spending side, reforms to contain ageing-related outlays are the priority, while the consumption tax should be the main source of additional revenue, given that its impact on economic activity is less negative than other taxes. The plan should target a primary budget surplus large enough to stabilise the public debt ratio by 2020. The fiscal policy framework should be improved to help reinforce confidence in Japan's fiscal position and prevent a run-up in interest rates. Higher consumption taxes should be accompanied by well-targeted social spending, including the introduction of an earned income tax credit, to prevent a rise in inequality and poverty.

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