S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소) Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.3 no.1(2017)
An Escape from the Myth of Growth: A New Perspective on Japans Zero-Growth Economy
- Takeda, Haruhito
- Issue Date
- Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.3 No.1, pp. 1-25
- economic development; zero economic growth; resource constraints; improvement of quality of life
- Japans economy after the 1990s is often considered as an era of failure, being the so-called Lost Decade, or Lost Two Decades. However, this paper asserts that this era should be reinterpreted as a period that underwent a series of trials and errors in order to seek a new epoch. In this case, Japans current economic situation is exemplified by its zero economic growth, a stage that other developed economies are destined to reach. This is because economic growth cannot be sustained as in the past, once environmental problems and resource constraints are taken into account. But it is possible for developed countries like Japan to achieve a vibrant society while experiencing zero economic growth. For this to happen, the government has to prioritize the policy goal of improving peoples quality of life, while businesses endeavor to decrease unit consumption in order to save resources. In addition, individuals need to change their mindset so that the time they save through increased productivity is spent on leisure, rather than earning extra income.