Japan is set to raise its consumption (sales) tax for the first time since 1997.
The last time the sales tax rate was raised, the hike was blamed by some economists for the country’s subsequent slump into recession (though the Asian financial crisis was perhaps a bigger contributor).
Latest official statistics released on Respect the Aged Day in Japan mark a symbolic milestone for the country with just shy of 32 million people – a quarter of the overall population – now over 65-years-old. (Hat tip to my colleague Ben McLannahan for spotting the numbers.)
Japan’s statistics agency also estimates that by 2035 the proportion of elderly people will rise to over 33 per cent.
Last year the IMF estimated that Japan’s working age population in 2050 would have fallen to the same size as it was at the end of the Second World War.