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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 is ranked 23rd among the 34 OECD member countries in decreasing order with a tax wedge of 32.2% for an average single worker in 2015, compared with the OECD average of 35.9%. The country occupied the same position in 2014.
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.
The 2015 edition of National Accounts of OECD Countries, General Government Accounts is an annual publication, dedicated to government finance which is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) for all countries except Chile, Japan, Korea and Turkey (SNA 1993). It includes tables showing government aggregates and balances for the production, income and financial accounts as well as detailed tax and social contribution receipts and a breakdown of expenditure of general government by function, according to the harmonised international classification, COFOG. These detailed accounts are available for the general government sector. Data also cover the following sub-sectors, according to availability: central government, state government, local government and social security funds.
The data in this publication are also available on line via www.oecd-ilibrary.org under the title OECD National Accounts Statistics, General Government Accounts (http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga-data-en and http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga08-data-en).
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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.