With a declining population due to ageing and a low birth rate, Japan needs to embrace technology to remain competitive socially, economically and strategically.


Despite its bullet trainsrobots, computer games, and many tech gadgets, much of Japan is surprisingly low tech. Key points:
  • Most Japanese use fax machines and personal red seal stamps instead of email and electronic signatures.
  • Cash is used for most purchases.
  • COVID19 exposed the risks of not being digitally literate.
  • Government use of digital tools is low, see: Japan’s digital drag | East Asia Forum
  • With frequent natural disasters, good digital access is vital for residents and disaster first responders.
  • Digitalisation could reduce public debt.
  • Large manufacturing enterprises are leaders in IT.
  • Smaller enterprises and the service sector have generally underinvested in IT.
  • Student digital skills are weak due to the requirement not being included in the curricula.
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines are not popular.
  • Indian and other IT workers fill skill shortages.
  • Japan has low English proficiency.
  • A digital transformation could compensate for the ageing population and poor labour productivity.
Positive changes
  • Online learning, e-commerce and partial working from home are growing.
  • government Digital Agency aims to increase and coordinate digitalisation.
Worth noting and remembering the following:



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References from the Web:

Source Information: Lowy Institute The