It’s not easy picking the most pessimistic chart about Japan.
The country suffered several decades of economic stagnation following the collapse of a bubble about three decades ago.
- Is it the data on ever-rising levels of government debt?
- Is it the data on an ever-rising burden of taxation?
- Or is it the data on an aging population and falling birthrate?
For what it’s worth, I thought the tax data was the most depressing.
But now there’s a new challenger for the grimmest chart.
I’m currently in Japan, where it’s almost bedtime. I just heard a speech from the governor of the Tokyo Prefecture.
As part of her remarks, she shared a slide showing how Japan has plummeted in the IMD competitiveness rankings.
And Japan has dropped to #30 in the recently released 2018 version.
By the way, you won’t be surprised to learn that Economic Freedom of the World shows a similar decline.
This is not quite as pronounced as Argentina’s drop in the rankings for per-capita GDP, but it’s definitely a sign that something’s gone wrong in the Land of the Rising Sun.
P.S. Japan has a very strong entry in the contest for the world’s most inane regulation.
P.P.S. And if there was a contest for the most ineffective form of government waste, Japan would have a very strong entry for that prize as well.