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The scale of the sharing economy in Japan reached $5B

The scale of the sharing economy in Japan reached $5B

According to the Cabinet Office, the scale of the sharing economy in Japan reached ¥470B ~ ¥525B in 2016 and has still expanded substantially. In addition, they also mentioned that ¥95B ~ ¥135B were not included in Japan’s GDP.

Therefore, they will keep conducting the study of the sharing economy and aim to include it in the GDP when a revision of GDP standard is implemented in 2020.

Space, Transfer, Goods, Skill and Money

The Cabinet divided the sharing economy into 5 different types such as space, transfer, goods, skill and money. Here is their examples.

・Space: Private home rentals, office rentals, etc

・Transfer: Carpools, ride-sharing, etc

・Goods: Flea market

・Skill: Housekeeping service

・Money: Investment

Missing GDP

As for Japan’s sharing economy, some types cannot be included in GDP due to the current GDP standard.

Missing GDP

・Spaces: ¥70B ~¥100B

・Goods: ¥15B

・Skills: ¥10 ~ ¥20B


What I have realized about Japanese people is that we are not looking for new products anymore and willing to get second-hand goods as long as usability is guaranteed.

Furthermore, especially among young people, expensive stuff is not regarded as valuable since if what they got is reasonable or not is the most important thing to them.

Hence, the sharing economy businesses can be expected to grow and more common in the society over the next decades.

Japan’s Lost Decade

However, haven’t you ever wondered why people in this rich country have become so frugal?

Well, whenever I talk to my foreign friends about Japan’s current economic situation, they are all surprised at the fact that Japanese people cannot be described as well-off people anymore.

This needs to discuss social issues that Japanese people have faced in recent years, but at the same time, this might help you understand our consumption behavior, which must be very important if you are considering launching a new service in Japan.

I will discuss how Japanese workers’ financial condition has changed in the next article.

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