Japan's Economy: Monthly Review
Why Reforms in Work Style are Important for Japan's Economic Revival(Apr 2017)

Correction of long work hours must be accompanied by improvement in productivity

April 21, 2017

  • Mitsumaru Kumagai
  • Satoshi Osanai
  • Shunsuke Kobayashi

Summary

◆While it is of course important to consider the external threat of Trump’s policies to Japan’s economy, we must also take a good look at domestic issues, including the structural issue of the long-term slowdown of Japan’s potential growth rate which is also affecting the domestic economy.

◆Japan is now in an era of population decline which brings with it the question of how to increase the latent growth rate. To do so, the important issue is that women and the elderly must be encouraged to work through labor reform, or more precisely reforms in work style.

◆Japan is still very much behind when compared to the progress which has been made in Europe where labor participation by women has been taking place quite actively. There is still a lot of room in Japan for more labor participation by women. If all barriers to women working, such as child-rearing and care for the elderly are removed, we estimate that more than one million women would then be able to enter the work force.

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