Providing Public Services in a Decentralized Way: Local Government Finances in Sweden and Japan


The 69th Stockholm Seminar on Japan

Sweden and Japan have a similar characteristic in terms of fiscal system, where the local government sector has a larger share of responsibilities for providing public services in the framework of a unitary state. However, while Sweden has developed the stable local revenues with local income tax and tax equalization system, Japan has not been successful of financing the increasing public demands even after the fiscal decentralization reforms since the mid-1990s. This presentation examines the fiscal problems of local governments in Japan and tries to extract some lessons from the Swedish experience, where the local governments have increased the tax rates to finance the expanding welfare services since the 1960s.

Speaker: Morinao Iju is an Associate Professor of Public Finance at Yokohama National University and a visiting researcher at European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics from April 2016 to March 2017. He has been studying the field of public finance such as tax policy, budgetary policy and intergovernmental fiscal relations focusing on Sweden as a case study.

Discussant: TBA

Moderator: Professor Marie Söderberg, Director, European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 28, 15:15-16:45
Venue: Room Ragnar 3rd floor, Stockholm School of Economics, Bertil Ohlins Gata 5                                      
Language: English

Please RSVP to, February 24, 2017

The Japan seminar series is jointly organized by the European Institute of Japanese Studies at Stockholm School of Economics, the Asia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University and the Swedish Defence University. It features monthly seminars on Japanese economy, politics and society. 


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