Ludwig von Mises Institute

Japan

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Country summary

Capital

Tokyo

Borders

(N/A)

Government type

a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy

Population

127,078,679 (July 2010 est.)[1]

Population growth

-0.191% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

82.12 years[1]

Unemployment

5.1% (2009 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom

19[2]

Corruption Perceptions Index

17[3]

Doing Business ranking

15[4]


In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power. In January 2009, Japan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.[1]

Economical characteristics[edit]

  • Currency: Yen (ISO code: JPY)
  • Central bank discount rate: 0.3% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 1.91% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $5.417 trillion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $6.16 trillion (31 December 2008)[1]

Notable events:[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[7] 4 368 730 4 667 450 4 095 480 3 918 340 4 229 100 4 605 940 4 552 120 4 362 550 4 380 510 4 910 840
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[8]
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[9]
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[10]
Debt to revenue (years)

References[edit]

Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Factbook. "Japan", from The World Factbook. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "Japan", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  3. Transparency International. "Japan", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  4. Doing Business. "Japan", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. "This Time is Different", Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-14216-6, p. 370-371. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-20.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises" (pdf), March 3, 2010, p. 67. (The list does not claim to be complete.) Referenced 2011-07-20.
  7. World Bank. "Japan: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  8. World Bank. "Japan: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  9. World Bank. "Japan: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  10. World Bank. "Japan: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.

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