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7 facts about Japan’s economy, the third biggest in the world

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Despite the devastating earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, the country managed to overcome its devastating consequences in just six years. During these years the economy of Japan has recovered despite the fact that such a strike changed the economy to a great extent. The Japanese economy is third in the world, meaning that it has established itself firmly on the world despite the blows of 2011.

For those who do not know much about Japan, here are 7 facts about Japan’s economy:

Japan’s economy currently ranks third worldwide

Clouds obscure the sun rise as people come out to see dawn bring in the new year over Tokyo Tower (L) and the city's skyline on New Year's Day on January 1, 2015. Millions of Japanese people visit shrines and temples to pray for the well-being of their families at the New Year. AFP
Clouds obscure the sun rise as people come out to see dawn bring in the new year over Tokyo Tower (L) and the city's skyline on New Year's Day on January 1, 2015. Millions of Japanese people visit shrines and temples to pray for the well-being of their families at the New Year. AFP

The nominal Gross Domestic Product of Japan is $4.73 trillion.

It’s GDP per capita is $38,893.

Japan is an exporting giant

Nissan Motor's latest passenger vehicle 'Note' (L) and an electric concept vehicle 'BladeGlider' (R) are displayed at a showroom in Tokyo on February 23, 2017. (AFP)
Nissan Motor's latest passenger vehicle 'Note' (L) and an electric concept vehicle 'BladeGlider' (R) are displayed at a showroom in Tokyo on February 23, 2017. (AFP)

Japan’s economy depends mainly on exports which count for more than $640 billion.

Cars’ export amount to nearly $100 billion, while vehicles’ spare parts amount to $30 billion.

A slow economic growth

A pedestrian walks past an electric quotation board showing share price indexes of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (C, top) in front of a securities company in Tokyo. (AFP)
A pedestrian walks past an electric quotation board showing share price indexes of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (C, top) in front of a securities company in Tokyo. (AFP)

Despite the strength of the Japanese economy, it is characterized by a slow growth marked with an average of 10% in the sixties to an average of 4% in the eighties.

Japan’s economy has been stable for most years in the third millennium, but the country witnessed recession four times in 2008.

Population pyramid

Elderly people work out with wooden dumb-bells in the grounds of a temple in Tokyo on September 19, 2016, to celebrate Japan's Respect for the Aged Day. (AFP)
Elderly people work out with wooden dumb-bells in the grounds of a temple in Tokyo on September 19, 2016, to celebrate Japan's Respect for the Aged Day. (AFP)

The most important reason for the slowdown in growth is attributed to the population pyramid, which is characterized by aging, since 27% of the population is over the age of 65.

Only 13% of the population is 14 years old.

Nuclear energy

An aerial view shows No. 4 (front L), No. 3 (front R), No. 2 (rear L) and No. 1 reactor buildings at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama town, Fukui prefecture. (Reuters)
An aerial view shows No. 4 (front L), No. 3 (front R), No. 2 (rear L) and No. 1 reactor buildings at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama town, Fukui prefecture. (Reuters)

Until 2011, Japan relied on nuclear energy to produce nearly 30% of the country’s needs for electricity. However, the Fukushima nuclear disaster led the government to order the shutdown of all nuclear reactors.

The current government has decided to relaunch these reactors with strict safety conditions. Two reactors were launched in 2015.

Oil importation

A ship sails before an international cargo terminal in Tokyo. (AFP)
A ship sails before an international cargo terminal in Tokyo. (AFP)

Due to the closure of the nuclear reactors, Japan’s dependence on imported oil raised dramatically, bringing the annual volume of imports to 3.4 million barrels per day, third of which come from Saudi Arabia.

ABENOMICS

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks on during a banquet. (AFP)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks on during a banquet. (AFP)

ABENOMICS is the name given to the economic reforms launched by the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

These reforms aim to increase the Gross Domestic Product by 20% or 600 trillion Yen by the year of 2020.