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Economy

Abenomics under pressure as Japan's data scandal spreads

Investigation reveals 40% of key economic statistics contain errors

Flawed data from the labor ministry has called into question the success of Abe's economic policies. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Tokyo is reeling from a scandal involving skewed data that has upended official readings of the economy and cast doubt on a pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic program.

The labor ministry is required to collect data from all companies with 500 or more employees for its Monthly Labor Survey. But from 2004 to 2017, it surveyed only about one-third of these large businesses in Tokyo. Because large companies typically pay more than smaller ones, the undercounting dragged down wage estimates across the country.

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