According to The Nikkei Asian Review, Japanese businesses that invest in artificial intelligence, labor-saving technology and staff development will greatly outstrip the competition in productivity, a new government report shows.
The white paper, submitted at a Friday cabinet meeting by Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, estimates a 16% advantage in total factor productivity for enterprises that have adopted or are thinking about adopting AI or the "internet of things."
Companies that also train workers to handle tasks that cannot easily be automated will enjoy at least a 20% productivity boost over old-fashioned rivals. Prioritizing these measures could help end the labor shortage, the white paper argues.
AI is seen reducing workloads in general office work, reception and secretarial duties, according to a corporate survey by the Cabinet Office. Business administration, human resources and bookkeeping work would also go down.
Job categories replaceable with AI include tax and document preparation, as well as personnel management. Demand for such routine work will decline over time, making it necessary to reorient labor toward nonroutine tasks, according to the white paper.
The paper urges companies to value and support workers who acquire information technology skills. It also emphasizes that universities should offer curricula focused on retraining.
Workers learning new skills will enjoy higher annual pay. Staffers engaged in personal development are expected to earn 99,000 yen ($886) more than untrained peers after two years and 157,000 yen more after three years. Job hunters with augmented skills will increase their likelihood of being hired by around 10 points.
Japan's economic recovery is growing more resilient against external shocks, the white paper says. The six-year upswing that began in 2002 depended heavily on outside demand. This time around, domestic demand is contributing to growth as well. The paper indicates that the effects of the recovery have extended to outlying regions, as well as small and midsize businesses.
On the scenario for escaping deflation, the paper outlines a favorable path of continued wage increases that raise consumer purchasing power, accompanied by rising prices, mainly in services.
If you want to read this article in Japanese, please see the following link:
Subscribe to our English Newsletter