Japan’s businesses lack successors
Islam News – As Japan’s population ages, and its birthrate has plummeted, nearly 60 percent of its business owners don’t know who will succeed them. Policymakers fear that the country could soon be hit by a surge in closures as Japan’s business owners, whose average age is around 62, begin retiring en masse.
Hidekazu Yokoyama, 73, is a poignant example of the coming problem. He has spent three decades building a thriving logistics business in Hokkaido, a snowy northern island that provides much of Japan’s milk.
Last year, he felt too old to carry on much longer. But his children weren’t interested in running the business. Neither were his employees. Few potential owners wanted to move to the remote, frozen north. So he settled on a radical solution: He decided to advertise the business and give it all away, free, to a 26-year-old dark-horse applicant.
Context: Japan’s trade ministry projected that by 2025, around 630,000 profitable businesses could close up shop, costing the economy $165 billion and as many as 6.5 million jobs.
Source: The New York Times