PARIS: Japanese adults are way ahead in math and literacy skills than their peers in 23 other countries, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published Tuesday.

The study, conducted in 22 OECD member states as well as Russia and Cyprus, involved tests on 166,000 people aged between 16 and 65.

Only 4.9 percent of Japanese adults had scores of 1 or less on a scale of 1 to 5, indicating difficulty in reading a simple text.

The highest level 5 denotes the ability to search and process information from dense texts and evaluate evidence based arguments.  “Roughly every fifth Finn and Japanese reads at high levels (Level 4 or 5 on the Survey of Adult Skills),” the OECD Skills Outlook 2013 report said. “This means, for example, that they can perform multiple-step operations to integrate, interpret, or synthesise information,” it said. The corresponding figure was less than one per 20 for Spain and Italy.–AFP