The World Bank on Oct. 31 released Doing Business 2018, a ranking for the ease of doing business in 190 countries and regions. Japan came 34th, the same ranking as last year and a far cry from the goal of “rising to third place by 2020 among developed nations” advocated by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The result may force Japan to further reexamine its regulations, including simplifying the procedures to start a business.
The World Bank analyzes 10 items for each country and region, such as fund-raising environment, electricity supply, and tax system, and compiles a ranking every year primarily to support mid- and small-sized businesses. New Zealand topped the 2018 ranking, followed by Singapore at number two and Denmark at number three. The top three countries were the same as last year. Asian countries also made a strong showing, with South Korea coming in fourth and Hong Kong fifth.
Japan ranked 106th in terms of “ease of starting a business” due to its cumbersome procedures and time-consuming registration. But the country took first place among the 190 countries and regions regarding bankruptcy procedures thanks to its transparent systems and simple procedures. Meanwhile, Japan remained in 77th place in terms of getting credit despite large-scale monetary easing, and came in 68th for its tax system. (Abridged)