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Reforms and Crises in Government Statistics: The Case of Japan

Publication | December 2019
Reforms and Crises in Government Statistics: The Case of Japan

Japan's statistical problems are the consequences of rapid change in the data environment and dwindling resources for statistics.

We describe the statistics reforms in Japan, especially in regard to gross domestic product and related statistics, that were meant to identify and then rectify the problems in Japanese government statistics. We then explain the recent revelation of serious errors in vital wage statistics caused by deplorable mismanagement in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; this statistical crisis led to a crisis in public relations, as well as to potentially jeopardizing the functioning of the system of government statistics.

WORKING PAPER NO: 1060