Ronald Dore (Professor, University of London)
A lot of good sense in Mr. Ushio's paper, and simplification of procedures for business start-ups is certainly a priority for administrative reform. The OECD paper "Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2001" ( p.91) has got very interesting figures on growth/decline of self-employment, showing their
decline in Japan to be rather exceptional.
No need to panic, to be sure, but Mr. Ushio's optimism about a 30% increase in average -- I stress average -- real income would hardly be shared by all those whose cash income has fallen -- the newly unemployed, all those self-employed in services and retail who have gone out of business, people like taxi-drivers and department store employees who are paid on some form of commission. This deflation is having the result not just of depressing economic activity all over the economy, but also of bringing about a massive income shift in favour of the people in Mr. Ushio's sector of the economy. And the point to stress is that it is progressive -- a downward spiral.