With gross government debt of 219% of GDP in 2016, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory and puts the economy at risk.
Never in the past 30 years has productivity growth been lower than since the 2008 global financial crisis, and never has income inequality been higher than it is today in Japan, and in the OECD area
The fourth annual edition of Revenue Statistics in Asian Countries covers seven countries, including Kazakhstan for the first time. It shows that the tax-to-GDP ratio in all these countries are lower than the OECD average of 34.3% in 2015, which highlights that scope remains for increasing tax mobilisation, especially in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and the Philippines to achieve sustainable growth.
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The negative impact of the economic crisis on employment was smaller in Japan than most other OECD countries. The short-time work scheme contributed to the greater resilience of the Japanese labour market. Unemployment in Japan has fallen continuously since the crisis, reaching just 2.8%, of the labour force in March and April, its lowest level in more than 22 years.
Japan should step up efforts to improve young people’s job prospects and reduce the share of 15-29 year-olds who are not in employment, education or training (the “NEETs”), according to a new OECD report.
The OECD has appointed Masamichi Kono as a Deputy Secretary-General. He will replace Rintaro Tamaki, who will be stepping down after six fruitful years in the post.
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Between 1999 and 2014, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Japan dropped by 21% as a result of the retirement of ageing business owners and weak entrepreneurial intentions in the Japanese population.
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Facilitating female employment is particularly important given Japan’s shrinking and ageing population, which has already contributed to labour shortages.
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To improve productivity and help address socio-economic challenges, such as ageing, Japan needs to strengthen its innovation performance.