As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s time in power has continued, the policy initiatives for addressing Japan’s major structural challenges have proliferated. Most prominent has been his signature Abenomics policy package, based around the “three arrows” of monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms. This has been complimented by a womenomics spinoff focused on empowering women in the workforce. While these reforms have made some headway, they have struggled with vested interests and deeply entrenched patterns of behavior.
More recently a new initiative has been added to Abe’s policy portfolio: “Society 5.0.” Through the integration of physical and cyber realms, in Society 5.0 technological developments can be applied to overcome the long-term problems that Japan has been struggling with. While it offers great potential for fortifying Japan’s economy and society as the population shrinks, there are major risks and downsides with these technologies that need to be adequately considered.