Measuring Welfare of the Japanese People - including international comparisons

  • Naomi Maruo (Autor/in)

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The average income of the Japanese people in 1972 was higher than that of some European countries such as Britain, Austria, Finland, Italy, etc. As a Swedish economist forecasts there is a good possibility that Japan’s nominal per capita GNP (Gross National Product) will catch up with that of the United States by the end of the 1970s2. In contrast with a brillant growth of GNP and national income, the improvement of the welfare of the Japanese people has lagged behind. Welfare indicators demonstrate that the “welfare” of the Japanese people is much lower in comparison with the above mentioned European countries. They also indicate that the growth of some of the welfare factors has been considerably slow as compared with the rapid growth of GNP. The main purpose of this paper is to compare the welfare standard of the Japanese people, using welfare indicators, with that of some industrialized countries as well as to show its change during the last decade. These indicators will demonstrate those fields where Japan is still “backward” and whether the welfare standard has improved or not in the last decade.