For this month's column I would like to kick off by focusing on a couple of data points.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry predicts that Japan's working-age population will decline by about 14 percent, or 11 million people, by 2030. This will outstrip the 9.6 percent fall in that segment of the population between 1995 and 2013.

Daiwa Institute of Research predicts that if the government regulates to curb overtime to a maximum of 720 hours per year, it will require an additional 2.4 million workers to compensate for overtime that cannot be legally worked.