Japan is embarked on a demographic transition without precedent in human history: the population is both declining and ageing rapidly. This raises important questions about the country's future economic geography, as public policies will need both to respond to these shifts and also to shape them. Demographic change will have particularly important implications for the settlement pattern of the country, and this, in turn, will affect Japan's ability to sustain economic growth and the well-being of its citizens. This Review therefore focuses on the spatial implications of demographic change and the response of spatial policies to it, particularly as these interact with other policies aimed at sustaining the productivity growth that a "super-ageing" Japan will need in order to maintain its future prosperity. The Japanese authorities have recently put in place a complex package of long-term spatial and structural policies aimed at meeting this challenge. Their experience should be of first-order interest to other OECD countries, as most face the prospect of rapid population ageing and many are also projected to experience significant population decline over the coming decades.
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The tax burden in Japan increased by 0.9 percentage points from 29.4% to 30.3% in 2013¹. The corresponding figures for the OECD average were an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 33.8% to 34.2%.
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This 4-page online document presents the key findings from OECD Pensions at a Glance 2015 and why it is important for Japan. It also identifies two key pension policy measures which would help improve the performance of pension systems in Japan
The 2015 edition introduces more detailed analysis of participation in early childhood and tertiary levels of education. The report also examines first generation tertiary-educated adults’ educational and social mobility, labour market outcomes for recent graduates, and participation in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education.
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The quality of health care is generally very good in Japan but further improvement can be made in the management of diabetes, treatment of heart attack (AMI), and cancer control. In Japan, per capita spending on pharmaceuticals is the second highest in the OECD after the United States. Spending on pharmaceuticals could be reduced by increasing the share of the generic market.
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Access latest developments on regulatory policy in Japan and its score on the 2015 Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance, and the 1999 and 2004 OECD Review of Regulatory Reform in Japan.
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This note presents selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators published in How's Life? 2015.
This report reviews the quality of health care in Japan, and seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care. One of Japan’s foremost policy challenges is to create an economically-active ageing society. Excellent health care will be central to achieving this. A striking feature of the Japanese health system is its openness and flexibility. In general, clinics and hospitals can provide whatever services they consider appropriate, clinicians can credential themselves in any speciality and patients can access any clinician without referral. These arrangements have the advantage of accessibility and responsiveness. Such light-touch governance and abundant flexibility, however, may not best meet the health care needs of a super-ageing society. Japan needs to shift to a more structured health system, separating out more clearly different health care functions (primary care, acute care and long-term care, for example) to ensure that peoples’ needs can be met by the most appropriate service, in a coordinated manner if needed. As this differentiation occurs, the infrastructure to monitor and improve the quality of care must simultaneously deepen and become embedded at every level of governance –institutionally, regionally and nationally.