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Digitalization Could Double Japan’s Growth, Reform Panelist Says

  • Vice Chair Susumu Takahashi says reform speeding up under Suga
  • Says Japan risks becoming a slowly boiled frog without action
Empty Streets As Japan Continues Quasi-lockdown
Photographer: Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg

Quickly improving Japan’s digital infrastructure could more than double the country’s potential growth rate and is the most important item on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s reform agenda, according to a senior member of a government advisory panel.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how far the world’s third largest economy lags behind other countries in adopting digital technology, said economist Susumu Takahashi, who serves as vice chair of the reform panel. He says he would like to see rapid digitalization increase the country’s potential growth rate from just under 1% to at least 2%, through enhanced innovation and productivity.