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What is required are reforms that improve Japan’s underlying efficiency. The Kishida administration is set to issue a five-year plan that could do a lot to improve the situation if lofty goals about income distribution and nurturing startups are turned into concrete policies. Unfortunately, recent conversations with policymakers in Tokyo suggest that, while a few of the necessary positive steps will be taken, they will not be nearly enough to turn the ship around.

6 Comments

Richard Katz, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

© Foreign Policy magazine

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Improve?Initiate,more like.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Long quote hopefully a short time to implement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Startups and government, historically, are a bad match. Governments do tech badly. Government committees are a world away from effective VC. They could direct more cash to universities to support early stage/pre-VC development.

The problem with state funding is that it so easily gets diverted from its goals, by middle-men, consultants, and in wildly overpriced outsourcing.

Fair income distribution would require higher minimum wages and lower maximum wages.

Theoretically, Japan has more capacity for change through what is sometimes called 'smart working', because it has a fair bit of excessive red tape across the board and poor management of staff/ability in the workforce. Can't see it changing though. The government and other vested interests like it the way it is for an assortment of reasons.

Globally, you get a lot of 'lofty goals' in political speeches. There is rarely much follow through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shocked, shocked, I say, that a vague toothless 5-year plan to “encourage” companies to pay employees more is unlikely to work. All it will do is put retired Golden Parachutists on 50 million per year committees that will meet four times a year (two of the times will be nomikais) and then put out a report saying to draw up a pamphlet to send to the CEOs asking them to consider forming internal committees to mull over the idea of pay raises.

It will help the economy slightly, as Toyota will sell a few more Crown Centuries.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan won't start trying to right the ship until it's settled on the bedding of the Mariana Trench.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It’s still afloat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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