Japan may face a shortage of over 11 million workers by 2040, as its population rapidly ages, warns a new study by independent think-tank Recruit Works Institute. The report highlights that the working-age population is expected to decline rapidly from 2027, and that the worker supply is predicted to shrink by about 12% in 2040 from 2022, while labour demand remains steady. The study also warns that shortages are likely to become acute in labour-intensive sectors such as transportation and construction, as well as healthcare due to growing demands from an ageing population. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged approximately JPY1tr (USD9bn) to train workers for more high-skilled jobs in the next five years. Japan’s rural-urban divide is also likely to worsen, with all of the nation’s prefectures except Tokyo facing a labour shortfall by 2040.
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