Japan’s aging society is rapidly shrinking the workforce. Aging is forcing Japan to attempt to relax old prejudices against women and foreigners. Plus there is an attempt to achieve a robotic revolution. Japan is pulling out all the stops to hit the 2 percent GDP growth target the government says is needed to reduce its mammoth public debt.
Japan’s government is also urged the nation’s business leaders to do more to boost the role of working women. That is seen as vital due to the shrinking workforce in one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies. Japan is takingsteps to increase the number of highly skilled foreign workers, and expand a controversial foreign trainee programme, which has been accused of exploiting participants. Another aspect of the growth strategy is the boosting of productivity through a “robotic revolution”, but experts have warned that even with automated aid it will take years for Japan to achieve the necessary growth.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not announce the sweeping economic overhaul many had expected, and economists point out he faces major resistance to change from Japan’s business world and bureaucrats.
Abe himself accentuated the positive saying: “Rising corporate revenues are leading to more jobs and higher wages. It is this sort of positive cycle that is starting to emerge.”
One important reform measures is a cut in corporate tax, promised for next year, to below 30 percent from the current level of over 35 percent – among the highest in the world.
The US is higher with 35 percent federal tax, plus what states levy. In France the level is 33 percent and in Britain it is 20 percent.