Posts Tagged ‘JAPAN — Economic policy’

The Power to CompeteJapan must make bold moves to reverse its economic stagnation, economist Ryoichi Mikitani and Internet entrepreneur Hiroshi Mikitani write in The Power to Compete. They do not believe that Abenomics, the economics program led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, does enough to solve Japan’s problems. Instead, the nation needs to increase its competitiveness, efficiency, and innovation by lessening government regulation, eliminating layers of bureaucracy, moving away from Japan’s lifetime employment tradition, and cutting taxes and the costs of government. The authors also argue that making English the business language of Japan, liberalizing rules governing foreign workers in Japan, and allowing foreign companies to take over failing Japanese businesses would help boost the nation’s economy.

The current Japanese economy is stagnant. To break free from its present mentality, revive, and find the power to compete globally:

  • Japan must improve its operational efficiency. Businesses are hampered by government regulations and a tradition that grants lifetime employment, keeping employers from making their operations lean.
  • Japan must become more innovative. Policies like setting product standards that differ from global standards to supporting failing industries have stifled innovation. Immigration rules and language barriers make it difficult to hire the brightest minds from overseas who could help increase innovation.
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan for reviving the economy may need to be bolder. A huge national debt, banks that are risk-averse, and fear of inflation could all be impediments to Abenomics.
  • Japan must lower the cost of governance. The nation has a large bureaucracy that needs to shrink, and using technology could be one means to cut the number of civil servants. The government must also reduce corporate taxes and the cost of electricity from regional monopolies.
  • Japan should become more globally minded. The country should encourage students to study abroad, allow foreign firms to take over Japanese companies, and make other efforts to ease the country’s protectionist policies.
  • Japan must modernize its education system. Instead of emphasizing rote memorization, schools must teach students to think critically. English and technology courses should be required, and schools should use educational tools available through the Internet.
  • Japan must build its brand. Attracting more tourists, allowing more foreign athletes to play in Japanese leagues, and convincing foreign companies to put their regional headquarters in Japan are all ways the nation can increase international awareness and the value of Brand Japan.

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