The Japanese economy is beginning to show signs of recovery after years of stagnation/deflation, but many Japanese policymakers warn that this economic growth may be sluggish: slower than in the United States and certainly slower than in other East Asian countries. Japan faces significant economic problems, including an aging population, a large fiscal deficit, and the need to adjust to the IT economy and to competition with the rest of East Asia. A slow growth scenario would greatly reduce opportunities for new productive investment and would make it increasingly difficult to provide for Japan's growing social needs. The authors of this book argue that Japan can and should grow more rapidly, and examine the reasons for the sluggish performance of the Japanese economy. For example, some Japanese economic sectors, particularly in distribution and finance, have failed to take advantage of new information and communications technology to accelerate the growth of productivity, as has happened in other countries, such as the US. Production function studies and econometric model simulations suggest that with appropriate policies the Japanese economy can grow more rapidly and deal with its future problems. The book posits a number of policy proposals which would help to accelerate Japan's economic growth. This book will be of interest to students of the Japanese economy, macroeconomics and international economies, and also to policymakers and professionals interested in Japan's economy.
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