As Japanese society ages it will need to rely ever more on automation and new technology to bridge the productivity gap. That creates a requirement for robots to start taking on the jobs that people used to do. Employment data and labour force projections underline the point.
The Japanese jobs-to applicants ratio has soared while the unemployment rate has plummeted as the economy recovers from 20 years of stagnation and deflation during which the nominal GDP actually contracted.
Meanwhile, even though more women are entering the workforce, the number of people in work will plateau at best in the next decade. Together, the combination of a tight labour market and the structural trend of an ageing population create a real need for an automated future.
Miyuki Kashima – head of Japanese equity investments. BNY Mellon Japan