Japan turns to robots to ease skills shortages
Japan’s economy is expanding, with 1.7 percent GDP growth expected for 2017. Strengthening global growth saw exports rise in 2017. This growth is set to continue in 2018. Business profits are improving, which bodes well for higher business investment and wage growth. 2018 should see further wage growth and a boost to the domestic economy.
Preparations for Tokyo Olympics 2020 is boosting construction. The huge national stadium in Tokyo is well underway for completion in 2019 along with six other sports complexes. Japan is also hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and investing in stadium upgrades. The New Shinagawa Railway Station is being built to service the Yamanote Loop line and the Keihin-Tohoku line ahead of the Olympics.
Skills shortages and rising costs continue to remain challenges to construction. Policies to encourage wage growth and cut long working hours to make construction more appealing have had limited success.
|Cost escalation 2017–18:||3.0%|
|Cost escalation 2018–19:||4.0%|
|Location factor (USD):||96.2|
The outlook for construction is optimistic, despite a possible small post-Olympics slump. Japan continuesto promote innovation. Sumitomo Forestry recently announced plans for a 70-floor 350m skyscraper made almost entirely of wood, able to withstand earthquakes and high winds. It would be Japan’s tallest building and the highest in the world made from wood.
This content is part of the International construction market survey 2018