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The number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) remains elevated in many countries since the crisis. This country note examines the characteristics of those at risk of being NEET in Japan with policies to help meet the challenge. It also includes many new youth-specific indicators on family formation, self-sufficiency, income and poverty, health and social cohesion.
One of the largest economies in the world, Japan has long been a major consumer and importer of energy and a recognised leader in energy technology development. Japan’s energy policy has been dominated in recent years by its efforts to overcome the fallout from the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident. One consequence of the accident was a gradual shutdown of all nuclear power plants, which has led to a significant rise in fossil fuels use, increased fuel imports and rising carbon dioxide emissions. It has also brought electricity prices to unsustainable levels.
Faced with these challenges, the government of Japan has revised its energy policy in recent years to focus on further diversifying its energy mix (less use of fossil fuels, more reliance on renewable energy, restarting nuclear plants when declared safe) and curbing carbon emissions. Building on these plans, Japan has outlined ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% between 2013 and 2030.
This emissions reduction commitment requires a balancing act between energy security, economic efficiency, environmental protection and safety. This International Energy Agency (IEA) review of Japan’s policies highlights three areas that are critical to its success: energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy supply and restarting nuclear power generation. The IEA encourages Japan to increase low-carbon sources of power supply. It also recognises that nuclear power can only be restored provided that the highest safety standards are met and the critical issues following the Fukushima accident are addressed, including decontaminating areas affected by the radioactive release and regaining public trust.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Japan and provides recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure, sustainable and affordable energy future.
The Nuclear Energy Agency carried out an independent peer review of Japan’s siting process and criteria for the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste in May 2016. The review concluded that Japan’s site screening process is generally in accordance with international practices. As the goal of the siting process is to locate a site – that is both appropriate and accepted by the community – to host a geological disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste, the international review team emphasises in this report the importance of maintaining an open dialogue and interaction between the regulator, the implementer and the public. Dialogue should begin in the early phases and continue throughout the siting process. The international review team also underlines the importance of taking into account feasibility aspects when selecting a site for preliminary investigations, but suggests that it would be inappropriate to set detailed scientific criteria for nationwide screening at this stage. The team has provided extensive advisory remarks in the report as opportunities for improvement, including the recommendation to use clear and consistent terminology in defining the site screening criteria as it is a critical factor in a successful siting process.
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The labour market in Japan weathered the global financial and economic crisis relatively well. At 68% in May 2016, total employment as a share of the population aged 15-74 in Japan is both well above its pre-crisis level and one of the highest among all OECD countries. The OECD projects further increases in the employment rate during 2016 and 2017.
This page contains all information relating to implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Japan.
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This note presents selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators published in How's Life? 2016.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Japan has the 12th lowest tax wedge among the 34 OECD member countries in 2015. The country occupied the same position in 2014. The average single worker in Japan faced a tax wedge of 32.2% in 2015 compared with the OECD average of 35.9%.
With 25 years of sluggish economic growth, Japan’s per capita income has fallen from a level matching the average of the top half of OECD countries in the early 1990s to 14% below that today. Weak growth, together with rapid population ageing, has driven public debt into uncharted territory. Revitalising growth is thus the top priority for the Japanese government. With the labour force shrinking more rapidly than the population, per capita output can only grow through improvements in labour productivity and labour force participation. Japan’s highly-skilled labour force and its technological leadership can help close the gap with leading OECD countries in per capita income. But broad-based structural reforms, as envisaged in the third arrow of Abenomics, are needed to allow these strengths to fully achieve their potential. The initial impact of Abenomics in 2013 was impressive, and the reform process needs to continue.
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.