Business / Economy

Japan urged to tap young workforce ahead of 2030: report

Kyodo

Japan should tap the potential of young workers and encourage more people in their 30s and 40s to become chief executive officers, as part of a reform to revitalize the economy toward 2030, a government task force said Wednesday.

Amid the graying of its society, Japan also needs to step up support for people with dementia and work to eradicate car accidents involving the elderly by making use of an automatic braking and self-driving system.

The task force outlined a series of steps that Japan needs to take in the years ahead, as the average age of the country’s baby boomers will reach 80 around 2030.

The report was presented to a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The task force involves academics and members of the council, including Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, the country’s largest business lobby known as Keidanren.

The report calls for improving the child-rearing and nursing care environment, enabling more people to work regardless of age, and increasing the number of skilled foreign workers. The use of artificial intelligence is also encouraged.

The task force also said the country should aim to eliminate long work hours and karoshi, or death by overwork.

Japan’s working-age population is projected to decline in the run-up to 2030 with an estimated 17.8 percent drop in the number of people in their 20s and 30s from 2015.

The report said the percentage of young people who are satisfied with their life is higher than those in other age brackets, but that young people in Japan are less ambitious and hopeful about their future than in other countries.

“We need to turn the situation around in 2030 so younger generations can use their vitality and take the lead in society,” it said.

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