Japan’s productivity growth faces two challenges from the labor side: a demographic crunch in which each worker must finance the livelihood of more retirees and an erosion of the skills of the labor due to the rise of non-regular workers to 37% of the labor force.
Despite the claimed economic gains for Japan from TPP (more on that in another Alert), many in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) fear it could be a political loss: particularly in the 32 mostly rural single-seat districts that have tipped the balance in the last three Upper House elections.
Richard's second installment on how Japan's economic growth has been compared with other G7 countries.
Some economists claim that except for aging, Japan does not really have a problem with growth in GDP or productivity. And in this report Richard argues why that statement is incorrect.
By one measure, deflation, like the swallows at Capistrano, has returned to Japan. According to the official target of the Bank of Japan (BOJ)—the consumer price index (CPI) except for fresh food—prices fell -0.1% in August from last year. This is the first time Japan has seen deflation since April 2013.
Automotive TPP talks last week in DC failed to resolve—or even narrow substantially—the gap among the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico. Another round of talks is expected next week.
Richard Katz's September issue of TOE includes reports on How to Raise Wages, For Now, Abe Polls Bounce, Abe Opens Door with Statement on War, Abe’s Careful Speech, Economy Watch, an interview with Nicholas Lardy on China's stock market and an interview with Tokyo University assistant professor Matthew Brummer, an expert on innovation, to understand Japan’s status as a “tech power.”