March 2, 2012
Today, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) held a workshop on international input-output tables in China's capital of Beijing. An international input-output table is a statistical tool that allows quantitative analysis of the industrial structure of one country and effects that changes in that structure have on other countries' economies. With the deepening interdependent economic relationship of Japan and China, there is a growing awareness in China as well as Japan of the importance of international input-output tables as a tool for analyzing the economic situation between the two countries. With the cooperation of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, JICA has provided the National Bureau of Statistics of China with assistance in preparing and maintaining such tables since 2009. About one hundred people from both Japan and China attended the workshop, where the results of that work were announced, commemorating the conclusion of the technical cooperation. Attendees included Xu Xianchun, Deputy Director of the National Bureau of Statistics, and Junichi Kitami, a director-general at METI, and Masahiko Shimizu, Vice-President of Keio University.
The objective of the assistance was to develop the necessary methods and framework so that input-output tables of Japan and China can be created in China, and one of the features of the assistance was the collaboration and multiple discussions between Japanese input-output table experts, private-sector researchers and academics with people in China involved in input-output tables, particularly those at the National Bureau of Statistics. In addition to staffers at the National Bureau of Statistics, training in the preparation of input-output tables of Japan and China was provided in Japan for personnel at provincial statistics bureaus from around China, widening the support base and providing assistance on a detailed level that drew high praise from China.
The workshop was held primarily for policymakers, statistics experts and people working in business, and during the workshop, the data of the input-output tables of Japan and China was publicly disclosed. Also, a series of presentations were made of empirical analyses performed by Japanese and Chinese academics based on the input-output tables of Japan and China created in this project. There was active debate in a wide range of fields, going beyond economics, trade and employment to energy and environmental issues. Going forward, it is expected that the results of this project will provide great benefits to both countries as the data of the input-output tables of Japan and China is further utilized to clarify the economic structures of both countries and deepen the understanding of the mutual dependency of the Japanese and Chinese economies.