The present report on Japan is the seventh report in the Investing in Youth series. In three statistical chapters, the report provides an overview of the labour market situation of young people in Japan, presents a portrait of young people who are not in employment, education or training (the NEETs) and analyses the income situation of young people in Japan. Two policy chapters provide recommendations on how Japan can improve the school-to-work transition of disadvantaged young people, and on how employment, social and training programmes can help the NEETs find their way back into education or work.
Earlier reviews in the same series have looked at youth policies in Brazil (2014), Latvia and Tunisia (2015), Australia, Lithuania and Sweden (2016).
Over the past ten years economic growth in Asia has contributed to a reduction of poverty as well as fertility rates, and greater prosperity has contributed to gains in life expectancy. However, at present many workers still work in informal employment, frequently for long hours at little pay and without social protection coverage. A growing demand for social support, extending the coverage of social protection benefits and improving the job quality of workers will be among Asia’s major challenges in future. This report considers these challenges, providing policy examples from countries to illustrate good practice, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Viet Nam.
The OECD/Korea Policy Centre fosters the exchange of technical information and policy experiences relating to the Asia Pacific region in areas such as health statistics, pension reforms and social policy and expenditure.
Japan has already taken some bold and determined steps in recent years to tackle its economic, social and environmental challenges. But broad-based reforms across a range of areas are still needed.
Women represent a vast untapped resource for Japan. Their employment rate in 2014 was fully 18 percentage points below that of men. Closing that gap is particularly urgent for Japan: the total population in Japan has already begun to fall and is projected to decline by almost 25% by 2050. Moreover, the share of the elderly (65+) is projected to rise from around 26% today to almost 40% at mid-century.
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To achieve greater gender equality in employment and more inclusive growth, Japan needs to change the workplace culture and ensure that the tax and social security systems do not reduce work incentives for second earners in households.
OECD analysis shows that income inequality has been on the rise in most OECD countries since the 1980s, which often means growing exclusion in the labour market, lower intergenerational social mobility, and greater polarisation in educational and health outcomes.
Selon une nouvelle étude publiée par l'OCDE, la crise économique mondiale a eu d’importantes répercussions sur le bien-être des populations, qui s’étendent bien au-delà des suppressions d’emplois et de la perte de revenus puisqu’elles influent sur la satisfaction des individus à l’égard de leur vie et sur leur confiance dans les pouvoirs publics.
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Gains in female education attainment have contributed to a worldwide increase in women’s participation in the labour force, but considerable gaps remain in working hours, conditions of employment and earnings. More specific data for Japan are available in this country note.
Society at a Glance – Asia/Pacific Edition 2011 offers a concise quantitative overview of social trends and policies across Asia/Pacific countries and economies.