Japan Economy

Japan which is referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun” is a country located in Eastern side of Asia. It is an island country. It is the only Asian country which is the member of G8. Japan is also a non permanent member of United Nations Security Council. The Economy of Japan is comprised of a well-developed private sector apart from its highly sophisticated private sector. The public sector of Japan’s economy is larger than the private sector. The Japan’s economy is highly efficient in terms of foreign trade but the economy is less efficient in terms of agriculture, service etc. The Japanese economy is technologically well developed and often ranked second in the world. The Japanese people lead a high standard of living and also has high life expectancy compared to other people in other countries of the world.

Industrialization in Japan began in the mid 19th century. But the atom bomb massacre of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War declined Japan’s economy through the distraction caused to the industries and its infrastructure. Few years later, the economy started developing and by 1980 Japan’s economy was ranked second in the world.

GDP Growth Review

AS per the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Nominal, the economy of Japan is ranked second largest in the world. According to the GDP-PPP (Purchasing Power Potential), Japan is ranked third largest in the world. In 2009, the GDP nominal of Japan was $ 5.073 Trillion and the GDP-PPP was $4.141 Trillion. The GDP nominal per capita of Japan in 2009 was $ 39, 573. In the same year, GDP – PPP per capita was $ 32,817. The GDP growth of Japan represented in millions of Japanese Yen from 1990- 2005 is as follows:

  • The GDP of Japan in 1990 was 440, 124, 900
  • The GDP of Japan in 1995 was 493, 271, 700
  • The GDP of Japan in 2000 was 501, 068, 100
  • The GDP of Japan in 2005 was 502, 905, 400

Economic Sectors

Primary Sector:

  • Agriculture:
  • Even though total Japan’s land area suitable for agriculture is only 12% which is too low, the crop yield per hectare is too high and often highest in the world. Only 4% of the Japan’s work force is employed in this sector. One of the most prominent types of farming in Japan is the Terrace farming in small plots. Terrace farming is practiced mainly due to the lack of arable land. Japan is self-sufficient in the production of rice, apple, orange, pears etc. The most important food products imported to Japan are Wheat, soybeans, corn and sorghum. The subsidies and other protective measures helped in the growth of Japan’s Agricultural Sector.

  • Fishery:
  • In terms of Fishing, Japan is ranked second just after China in the World. The most commonly available fishes in Japan are Salmon, sardine, shrimp, tuna, crab, squid, mackerel, suary, Japanese amberjack, sea bream etc. One of the world’s largest fishing fleet is in Japan which accounts for 15 % of the global fish catch.

Secondary Sector: Manufacturing Industries

The secondary sector mainly includes the manufacturing industries of Japan. 28 % of the Japan’s work force is employed in this sector. The industrial sector of Japan is highly advanced and widely diversified. The most important products manufactured in Australia are computers, electronics, transportation vehicles, spare parts, textiles etc. Food processing industries are also very important and the food products constitutes Japan’s major export commodity. Japan is also rich in terms of its mineral deposits and thus mining industry served in meeting the country’s need for gold, magnesium, silver etc. Japan also has a well developed pharmaceutical industry. Other major industries are iron, steel, optical media and optoelectronics manufacturing industries.

But the minerals like copper, coke, bauxite, iron ore are imported from other countries.  The regions in Japan where these industries are concentrated are the Kantō region, Tōkai region, Kinki region, Southwestern part of Honshu and northern Shikoku.

Tertiary Sector:

This includes Service Sector of Japan like banking, transportation, insurance and telecommunication, which form the country’s backbone. The real estate and retailing are the other most important component of service sector. In 2009, it was found that service sector employed 68 % of the Japan’s work force. But this sector is very badly affected by the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. To make up this situation, the government has introduced a Stimulus Package of ¥ 7.2 Trillion.

Trade :

The foreign trade of Japan is an important component of its economy. The foreign trade of Japan had widely expanded by about 60 % between 2001 and 2006. But, the trade has been adversely affected by the global financial crisis of 2008 and a decline of about 30.8% was observed in 2009 compared to previous year. The most important commodities exported from Japan are electrical machinery, transport equipments, chemicals etc. The most important products imported to Japan are fuels, foodstuffs, natural gas etc.

Japan Infrastructure :

Petroleum is the main source of energy and accounts for one half of the energy need. One fifth of the country’s energy is obtained from coal, and about 14% from the natural gas. A quarter of Japan’s electricity is produced through nuclear power.
Road way is the major means of transportation in Japan which covers about 1.2 million kilometers. Japan also has a well developed railway system and many airports.

Job Scenario

In 2008, it was estimated that around 66 million individuals of Japan are employed, which included 40 % females and the rest males. The rate of unemployment in Japan was about 4.1 % in July 2006 and in 2009, it was 4.4%.