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2018

Broad pessimism evoked by Japan’s shrinking population may be misguided. Takeo Hoshi shows that productivity growth is a far more important determinant of economic growth and that Japan’s demographic handicap may actually be an advantage in encouraging productivity-boosting innovations.

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There is an appearance of political stability in Japan, but this may be because Japan already went through its anti-elitist, populist phase years ago, notes Senior Fellow Sota Kato. This is not necessarily good news, though, as populism can supply the power needed to push through important social reforms.

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Distinguished Fellow Katsuhito Iwai calls for a rejection of the American model of capitalism, citing such epic failures as the subprime mortgage crisis and the election of President Donald Trump.

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As the Diet takes up legislation designed to change Japanese “work styles” and curtail excessive overtime, labor expert Ryo Kambayashi questions whether this type of intervention in Japan’s traditional labor market can really change working conditions for the better.

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Economist Takeo Hoshi, chair of the board of the Tokyo Foundation, talks about the successes of Abenomics, prospects for economic growth in 2018, and the challenges facing the Japanese economy further down the road.

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