Tokyo - Japan plans to broaden the market for robots beyond their main use in manufacturing to the service sector, including guesthouses and care homes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of a new government committee Thursday.
The fact that humans do simple and difficult work themselves contributes to the labour shortage and prevents a rise in productivity, Jiji press news agency reported Abe as saying.
He told a meeting of the committee on the Realisation of a Robot Revolution that his growth strategy is to double the size of the market for industrial robots to 1.2 trillion yen (11.2 billion dollars) by 2020.
It is planned that the market for service industry robots will rise20-fold in the same period to the same size as that for industrial robots.
Growth in the robot sector will become a driving force in reviving the country's economy, Abe said.