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

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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.

On behalf of the people of Japan, I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the OECD. In this landmark year, I would like to ponder the OECD’s achievements and express my expectations for its future role

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.

Mari Kiviniemi, Finland's Minister of Public Administration & Local Government

©Finnish government

The global economic crisis is affecting families and communities across the planet. With regions bearing the brunt of the crisis, affecting businesses, jobs and people generally, regional policies are very much part of the solution.

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.

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