In mid-October 2021, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet approved Japan’s Sixth Basic Energy Plan. The plan represents a concrete roadmap for realising two commitments made by former prime minister Yoshihide Suga: to decarbonise by 2050 and to achieve a 46 per cent greenhouse gas reduction (the base year is 2013) by 2030.
Japan has become one of the most active countries in implementing strong sanctions against Russia in support of Ukraine
Japan must support young farmers and improve conditions for foreign agricultural workers to save the industry.
The issue of wages has been on Japan’s political agenda since former prime minister Shinzo Abe urged companies to raise wages to fight inflation. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida included wage hikes in his slogan of ‘new capitalism’.
A newly established digital agency was unveiled in Japan on 1 September 2021. The agency, located in an Akasaka skyscraper, is unprecedented in every way. Under the direct supervision of the prime minister, with 120 of its 500 officials hired from the private sector, the new agency has the authority to manage IT system budgets across Japanese government ministries.
The Japanese labour market has undergone significant change since the early 2010s when the baby boomer generation began to retire, expanding opportunities for women, the elderly and other groups. But COVID-19’s economic impact is challenging the gains of the past decade. The employment rate has reversed its upward trend, declining along with salaries and hours worked, while unemployment rose from 2.4 per cent in 2019 to 2.9 per cent in June 2020.
The dysfunctionality of Japan–South Korea relations led many to despair about whether the two Northeast Asian neighbours can l ever get along. Efforts by US officials to create trilateral opportunities on security, climate or cybersecurity have largely foundered.
Different technological regimes give rise to and require different business institutions. When circumstances change, so must the institutions. Otherwise yesterday’s strengths become today’s weaknesses, and economic growth slows. This is unfortunately Japan’s plight, with its analogue era champions failing to adapt to today’s digital world. No longer does Sony churn out one must-have product after another.