Shvydko Vitaly
“Abenomics”: a change in the concept
Publication Type:


ISSN 2500-2872

DOI 10.24411/2500-2872-2019-10013

The article addresses recent changes in the views of the Japanese government, headed by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, regarding the content and desired effect of its economic policy, which is presented to the public under the brand of “Abenomics”. The article highlights major points of the economic credo proclaimed by the Japanese cabinet set up by the current leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic party after the Diet lower house elections of late 2012. It presents the mid-term goals set by the new cabinet, as well as the principal macroeconomic tools that would be mobilized by the cabinet to secure their achievement through modifying the tendencies which had solidified during the previous two decades, and to bring fresh stimulus and dynamism to the Japanese economy. The author briefly reviews the results of economic performance following several years of practicing “Abenomics” by the government and monetary authorities and possible explanations for the lack of significant progress in achieving the goals that had been set initially. The author traces the evolution of the priorities in the economic tasks formulated by Abe cabinets, which have been shifting from stimulating demand and reflation to promoting growth of productivity through dissemination of new technologies and ensuring an adequate supply of labor resources. The article notes the reassessment that took place in 2015-2016 regarding the potential effectiveness of monetary policy instruments as a means of supporting and accelerating economic growth, as well as the awareness of limited potential of additional inputs of public funds through government efforts as a tool for invigorating investment activity in the economy. A change in the points being emphasized, both in the public presentation of the government's economic and social policies and, to a lesser extent, in its realization, was the logical consequence of the reevaluation of effectiveness of the above-mentioned tools. Recent government documents setting larger goals, in particular the annual “Future Investment Strategy”, are analyzed as a reflection of a new vision of the economic role of the state. The latter includes less concern for current short-term macroeconomic indicators and more responsibility of the government for the fundamental characteristics and quality of the resources laying the foundation for national economic activities. The article concludes that Japanese government policy regarding social and business activities has been seriously adjusted in an effort to raise Japan's global competitiveness and ensure conditions for long-term sustainable growth of its economy. The said adjustment includes abandonment of the traditional ‘industrial policy' concept.


Keywords: Japan | abenomics | economic strategy | sustainable development | global competitiveness | post-information society |

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