p42_Kaori_OECD.jpgKaori Miyamoto

Hi, my name is Kaori Miyamoto, and I work as a senior policy analyst in the Development Co-operation Directorate, currently doing research on policies to mobilise private investment for developing countries. I joined the OECD in 1998 from the World Bank in Washington, DC. This makes me the longest serving Japanese staff member, with 16 years under my belt.

Though I was born in Osaka, I grew up and lived in many countries, including the UK, the US, Sri Lanka and Thailand. I have worked in several countries in Africa too, so I am comfortable with the multicultural environment of the OECD. I also highly value the knowledge sharing and standard setting among developed countries in policy areas such as health, education, employment, tax, pension, gender, consumer issues and many more.

I believe that our countries as well as other global economies can learn from each other and improve their policies back home. In fact, I actually think that by facilitating an open and frank dialogue and co-operation among each other, the organisation not only helps improve people’s lives, but contributes to peace and stability. In other words, our work can promote well-being and hopefully prevent a major world war from breaking out again.

Click to enlarge

While today Japan is one of the world’s largest and most advanced economies, a member of the G7 and the most developed country in Asia, in 1964 the picture was quite different.

Japan's 50th anniversary at the OECD in covers


©Yuya Shino/REUTERS

Expanding airport capacity in large metropolitan areas is difficult, and Japan is a case in point. Some 33 million people (26% of total) and 17 million (13% of total) live in Greater Tokyo and Greater Osaka respectively. According to some sources, Tokyo-Yokohama is the largest urban area in the world and Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto the 12th largest.

©Reuters

The Tax Justice Network claims that US$21-32 trillion are stashed offshore–the equivalent of the combined GDP of the US and Japan. That only concerns tax havens, and does not include tax evasion or other forms of tax avoidance. The OECD believes that this can be tackled in part through the systematic and periodic transmission of “bulk” taxpayer information collected by the source country to the country of residence concerning income from dividends, interest, royalties, salaries, pensions, and so on. This so-called automatic exchange of information seems to work: Denmark helped 440 of its citizens to remember their foreign income after the tax administration sent them a letter announcing that it received such information from abroad.

Angel Gurria ©Reuters

For a complete list of speeches and statements, including those in French and other languages, go to
www.oecd.org/about/secretary-general/publicationsdocuments/speeches

Japan Snapshot 2013

Find key economic figures and trends for Japan from OECD Yearbook 2013

©REUTERS/Kyodo Kyodo

On 11 March one year ago, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 struck eastern Japan. The earthquake was followed by a huge tsunami and a nuclear accident. All these incidents combined resulted in an unprecedented disaster leaving more than 19,000 people dead or missing and a very large material damage. 

Permanent Representative of Japan to the OECD, Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa, conferred honours on Roger Charles Harmel, former director of Council and the Executive Committee secretariat at the OECD, at a special ceremony held at the ambassador’s residence on 7 December 2011.

“[…] On behalf of the OECD, I express our profound sorrow at the enormous loss of life and extend our condolences to all those who have been affected by this terrible tragedy. At the same time, we admire the courage and resolve of the Japanese people in face of adversity, and we are confident that Japan will emerge from this disaster stronger and better.

OECD expresses sympathy with the people of Japan

In the wake of the devasting earthquake that struck northeast Japan, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “I have written to Prime Minister Kan. It is with great sorrow that we received the news of the earthquake and the subsequent tsunamis affecting many coastal areas. On behalf of all of us working at the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, I would like to transmit our deep sympathy and support in these difficult circumstances. Our thoughts are with the Japanese people, especially those who lost their loved ones.”

Japan: Prime Minister Naoto Kan marks the 50th anniversary of the OECD.

Japan is widely regarded as a leading innovator on the environment. We asked Japan’s Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment, Nobumori Otani, who was in Paris in early May, for his insights.

With the world economy today experiencing turbulence on a number of diverse fronts, OECD countries are preoccupied with meeting these challenges.

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, Italy's minister for the environment, and chair of the 2008 OECD meeting of environment ministers ©Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Climate change is a pressing challenge, requiring leadership and determined action. At the same time, people are concerned that policies do not put them at an economic disadvantage or unnecessarily undermine their welfare.

Can governments balance these concerns? The OECD’s Environment Policy Committee meets at ministerial level on 28-29 April 2008 under the theme of global competitiveness. Some non-OECD developing countries will also participate, as will stakeholders from business, labour and civil society.
Today, energy security is an indispensable subject even in general discussions about foreign policy. Securing needed energy resources is one of the prerequisites for ensuring sustainable economic growth. Dealing with the current rapid growth in demand for energy in Asia is a high priority on many agendas. As for Japan’s perspective on energy security co-operation, I would like to touch upon the following three points: security of supply, energy and the environment, and the importance in energy response of the International Energy Agency (IEA), a sister organisation of the OECD.

The archipelago that makes up Japan is two-thirds mountains, with few indigenous energy resources. As the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, with relatively high energy prices, the most important energy challenge for Japan is security of supply.

Economic data

GDP growth: +0.5% Q2 2019 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 1.6% September 2019 annual
Trade: -1.9% exp, -0.9% imp, Q2 2019
Unemployment: 5.2% September 2019
Last update: 18 November 2019

OECD Observer Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Subscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

Have the OECD Observer delivered
to your door



Edition Q2 2019

Previous editions

Don't miss

Most Popular Articles

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2019