Economy of Japan

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Economy - overview: Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) have helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and third largest economy in the world after the US and China. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The much smaller agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall real economic growth had been spectacular: a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s largely because of the aftereffects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth have met little success and were further hampered in late 2000 by the slowing of the US and Asian economies. The crowding of habitable land area and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Robotics constitutes a key long-term economic strength, with Japan possessing 410,000 of the world's 720,000 "working robots".

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.15 trillion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.3% (1999 est.), 1.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,900 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 35%
services: 63% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.8%
highest 10%: 21.7% (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.8% (1999 est.), -0.7% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 67.7 million (December 2000)
Labor force - by occupation: services 65%, industry 30%, agriculture 5%
Unemployment rate: 4.7% (1999 est.), 4.7% (2000)
Budget:
revenues:  $441 billion
expenditures:  $718 billion, including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $84 billion (FY01/02 est.)
Industries: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals; textiles, processed foods.
Industrial production growth rate: -0.1% (1999 est.), 5.3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.018 trillion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  58.91%
hydro:  8.35%
nuclear:  30.31%
other:  2.43% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 947.038 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Exports: $413 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.), $450 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: motor vehicles, semiconductors, office machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners: US 30%, Taiwan 7%, South Korea 6.4%, China 6.2%, Hong Kong 5.6% (2000 est.)
Imports: $306 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.), $355 billion (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities: fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, office machinery
Imports - partners: US 19%, China 14.5%, South Korea 5.4%, Taiwan 4.8%, Indonesia 4.3%, Australia 3.9% (2000 est.)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $9.1 billion (1999)
Currency: yen (JPY)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Japan > Map Economy History