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Messages from Keidanren Executives January, 2016 Steadily and Surely Revitalizing the Japanese Economy

Sadayuki SAKAKIBARA Chairman, Keidanren

In January last year Keidanren made its perspective and position on Japan as it ought to be clear and show what must be done for our country until 2030. The goals set out in the long-term vision align with the aims of the new "three arrows" of Abenomics, and Keidanren is firmly determined to provide its utmost cooperation to achieve them.

We aim to make 2016 the year for setting Japan securely on track toward raising GDP to 600 trillion yen. As the first step, the political leadership, the bureaucracy, and the private sector must deploy all the policies and resources at their disposal to end deflation and achieve tangible economic revitalization.

Recognizing that companies play a crucial role in economic growth, Keidanren will take the lead in generating a virtuous economic cycle by working upon companies to dispel the deflationary mindset and make courageous and active managerial decisions. In particular, we will encourage investment in promising growth fields as well as in drastic improvement of productivity through introduction of new technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and artificial intelligence. We will also call on companies with expanding revenue to positively consider raising wages, in the expectation that they will increase wages on an annual salary basis by a greater percentage than last year.

We urge the government to take strong measures to tackle key policy issues such as sweeping changes in taxation that will contribute to enhancing corporate vitality, drastic regulatory and institutional reform. In the aim of securing stable and economically viable energy supply, it is essential to accelerate the process of restarting nuclear power stations once safety is assured, and to overhaul the feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy and the Tax for Climate Change Mitigation (Carbon Tax). It is also important to streamline and improve the efficiency of social security benefits and reduce social insurance premium, in line with integrated economic and fiscal reform.

To bring economic partnerships to fruition, we call for swift action to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership into force and urge all parties involved to work toward the rapid conclusion of a Japan-China-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement and build a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific by 2020. The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement also needs to be finalized as quickly as possible.

Keidanren is committed to fulfilling our duty and responsibility of revitalizing the Japanese economy with strong support from all people concerned.

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