The institute assumes Japan’s population will drop to 116.6 million in 2030 from 128.1 million in 2010, with the percentage of working age people falling to 49.1 percent from 51.4 percent. Under these assumptions, the institute laid out four scenarios in GDP per capita.
In all but the most optimistic one, South Korea tops Japan in GDP per capita.
In the worst-case scenario, the economy begins shrinking in the 2010s due to worsening government debt.
In terms of GDP per capita, South Korea would rise to 15th and Japan would fall to 21st in 2030. In 2010, South Korea ranked 24th and Japan 20th.
The second-worst scenario sees the country’s low productivity levels continuing, causing a repeat of the so-called Lost Decades.
In the second-most upbeat scenario, Japan’s productivity levels rise to those of other developed countries. However, GDP per capita would still trail South Korea in 2030, ranking 17th to Seoul’s 15th.
In the best scenario, where Japan’s female labor force rises to the level of Sweden’s by 2040, it would be ranked 15th and South Korea 16th.
A Russian think tank projects that North Korea and south Korea will reunify before 2030. If they did the combined korean population would be about 78 million in 2030.