Empowering elderly people in
"Demography is the biggest problem for Japanese recovery,"
Yoshino wants the Japanese government to tap into the potential of the elderly as it promotes its growth strategy, one of the three pillars of Prime Minister
Government data released in June showed that the elderly accounted for around 25 percent of
"The Japanese problem does not come from monetary policy. The main cause of this recession in the past 20 years...is the aging population and demographics, and demographics cannot be handled by monetary policy," said Yoshino, a Japanese national.
Removing the elderly from the labor market can lead to a decline in consumption because they are forced to rely mostly on pensions, he argued.
One solution he proposes to address this structural problem is to postpone the retirement age to ensure that the elderly can work for as long as possible. This would not only boost productivity but delay payment of pensions, he noted.
An area where the elderly and young can cooperate is farming, where the elderly can allow younger farmers to use their land and get a share of the profits, Yoshino said.
He also called for local and foreign businesses to churn out more products targeting the growing elderly market, saying, "I'm sure there are many, many needs for them. If the Japanese market becomes bigger, then the same products may be sold in
Another source of economic growth, he stressed, is the use of so-called "hometown investment funds" to encourage start-up businesses which often experience difficulty in getting loans from banks.
As for the central bank's moves to pull the country out of deflation, Yoshino said he is confident the
Yoshino also has his eyes on the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering of its large-scale monetary stimulus, which he says is a "good sign" for
Continuation by the Fed of quantitative easing and relaxed monetary policy would "definitely" push up commodity prices and oil prices, which should be prevented, he said.
"Unless they introduce a market-oriented exchange rate policy, free trade agreement between
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