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This working paper presents the background and the details of the simulations behind Box 1.4 of the May 2013 OECD Economic Outlook. A small simulation model is used to evaluate the contribution that the three pillars of the government’s strategy – fiscal consolidation, growth-boosting structural reforms and higher inflation – could make to reversing the rise in Japan’s public debt ratio.
The 2011 disaster and nuclear problems opened the door to a new energy policy, as they raised
fundamental questions about the electricity system’s ability to prevent and respond to accidents.
The problems of Japanese agriculture – in particular low productivity and the prevalence of part-time farmers and small plots have been evident for the past 50 years.
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.
The coming expansion will be driven by exports, and should increase business investment and employment and bring an end to deflation. While we are encouraged by these developments, it remains critically important for Japan to address extremely high and still rising levels of government debt and other challenges posed by its ageing population, said OECD Secretary-General.
Japan's key challenges are to achieve sustained growth and fiscal sustainability. The three-pronged strategy combining bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy and a growth strategy should be effectively implemented to realise these goals.
Japan is poised for an economic expansion, but long-term growth prospects remain contingent on additional efforts to revitalise the economy and reduce unsustainable levels of public debt, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Japan.
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Japan has several major strengths it can draw upon but major reforms are needed on several fronts. A keystone of the Revitalisation strategy is tax reform, not only to boost revenues but also to support growth and make it greener and more inclusive.
The Great East Japan Earthquake took a heavy toll of human lives and inflicted a massive economic damage, estimated at 3½ per cent of GDP. This event requires considerable time and a nation-wide effort of reconstruction. This is the first component of Prime Minister Noda’s “Strategies to Revitalise Japan”, which we very much welcome and support, said OECD Secretary-General.