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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Digitalizing the Japanese Economy 1 The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on Japan’s uneven state of digitaiization. While Japan is a leader in various technology frontiers including use of industrial robots, it lags behind its peers in digital adoption by businesses (ICT investment and e-commerce), government services, and financial services. Cross-country empirical analysis suggests that an expansion of digital services and innovation in Japan, through an increase in ICT investment, could improve labor productivity. Japan also has scope for a sizeable

Mr. Il Houng Lee and Mr. Yougesh Khatri

the ICT sector were noteworthy in several economies, including Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, and Korea. The contributions were strengthened further in the second half of 1990s, reflecting not so much an acceleration of ICT investment, but rather the maintenance of a relatively high level of ICT investment during a period of output collapse following the Asian crisis. During both of these periods, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, and Singapore benefited most from capital deepening in part due to the large income share of the ICT capital. In the case of the Philippines, even though