Implications for the Development of Local Economies and SMEs in Japan: Perspective from a field survey conducted on Germany, the EU's strongest economy

Author Name IWAMOTO Koichi  (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2015 15-P-002
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The Japanese government's Abenomics policy has been beneficial mainly for some large companies thus far, and policies that also can spread the benefits to local areas and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are needed. It is regretful that no such model exists in Japan, thus I conducted a field survey on Germany to look at its successful models of developing the local economies and SMEs. Germany shares similarities with Japan, including manufacturing as its main industry and an aging and decreasing population (The fertility rate in Germany in 2012 was 1.38 and is lower than that of Japan in 2013, 1.43). Germany was once called the "sick man in Europe," but now it has the strongest economy, having succeeded in economic revival, and is now known as "the only winner in the EU." Economic development output was spread widely to the people in Germany and other nations: the Gini coefficient is 0.293 in Germany and 0.336 in Japan (OECD statistics, 2012). The aim of my field survey is for Germany's policies to be introduced to Japan, which may help Japan regain its strong industrial competitiveness.

This paper provides the implications for the resolution of mid-long term and structural issues of Japan's local economies and SMEs from the viewpoint of a field survey conducted in Germany.