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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Pre-COVID-19, economic policies under “Abenomics” helped ease financial conditions, exit deflation, and raise labor market participation, but fell short on the deep reforms needed to raise productivity and achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. The Japanese economy is now recovering from the pandemic amid strong policy support that has helped to mitigate the downturn. Japan had substantially lower rates of COVID-related infections and deaths than most advanced economies.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on Japan’s uneven state of digitaiization. While Japan is a leader in various technology frontiers including use of industrial robots, it lags behind its peers in digital adoption by businesses (ICT investment and e-commerce), government services, and financial services. Cross-country empirical analysis suggests that an expansion of digital services and innovation in Japan, through an increase in ICT investment, could improve labor productivity. Japan also has scope for a sizeable expansion of e-commerce and digital payments, which would help the country further reap the benefits of the digital economy. While the government’s digital transformation strategy would help accelerate digital adoption, strengthening policies to ensure data privacy, digital literacy, consumer protection, and cybersecurity are also important.