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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has added human resources development as yet another new pillar of his Cabinet’s policy agenda. Given the rapid aging and decline of the population caused by fewer births, which saps the growth potential of the nation’s economy, the idea that investment in human resources is indispensable is laudable. It will be difficult to sustain a vibrant society without adequate human resources. Still the Abe administration needs to clarify many points over the new policy, including how it aims to secure the funding needed for carrying it out and from what viewpoint the government will be pushing the agenda.

Abe declared the new policy in a news conference in June, when he said he would like to carry out a “human resources development revolution” that is free from a uniform way of thinking “in order to change Japan into a country full of chances.” Human resources development was among the basic policy agenda when he reshuffled his Cabinet early this month, and Abe tapped Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to concurrently take charge of human resources development. The administration plans to launch a panel of experts by the end of this month to work out concrete measures to flesh out the policy, which is expected to come up with its ideas around June 2018.

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