Policy Proposals Comprehensive Strategy Keidanren's Requests for the New Administration
The global economic outlook is becoming increasingly uncertain in the face of the Brexit issue and slower growth in emerging economies. In addition, skepticism over globalization underpinned by free trade is raising concerns over a resurgence of protectionism and isolationism.
In the midst of these global circumstances, Japan has created a solid and stable political foundation through the recent House of Councillors elections. The business community has high expectations that the new administration will display strong leadership both in Japan and on the international stage as it resolutely engages in sometimes painful structural reforms, including bold re-shaping of regulations and changes to social security systems.
The most pressing issues for the Japanese economy are to accelerate the pace of recovery, ensure an end to deflation followed by economic revitalization, and place the country firmly on track to achieve an economy with nominal GDP of 600 trillion yen. We urge the new administration to continue focusing on the economy as the top priority. The government first needs to swiftly and steadily implement the economic package recently approved by cabinet in the aim of carrying out investment for the future.
At the same time, the government should resolutely commit to revenue and expenditure reforms with a view to placing public finances on a sound footing.
Japan, as the country currently holding the G7 presidency, should also maintain and enhance free and open systems of trade and investment and devote its energies to stabilizing financial and capital markets in order to promote sustainable global economic growth. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will lead the way to wide-ranging, high-level global rule-making on trade and investment, and Japan needs to approve the agreement as quickly as possible to encourage members to promptly bring TPP into effect.
Business and politics are the dual forces that will drive Japan forward, and Keidanren will cooperate closely with the new administration while promoting measures to overcome issues and create a more affluent and vibrant Japan.
Key Policy Issues
1. Accelerate post-earthquake reconstruction and reinforce disaster prevention and mitigation measures.
2. Achieve an economy with GDP of 600 trillion yen.
- (1) Implement the Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016, and especially trigger a Fourth Industrial Revolution ("Society 5.0"), which is a key pillar of growth strategy.
- (2) Create new growth opportunities through regulatory reform.
- (3) Swiftly bring the TPP agreement into force, reach agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement during this year, and make steady progress in negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Japan-China-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
- (4) Invigorate regional economies.
- (5) Reform corporate income tax to boost corporate vitality.
- (6) Devise energy and environmental policies compatible with economic growth.
- (7) Create an environment conducive to childcare and nursing care, enable diverse work styles, and further encourage the active participation of women in the workforce.
- (8) Promptly pass the bill on proper implementation of technical intern training for foreign nationals and protection of the technical intern trainees.
3. Reform social security systems.
- (1) Achieve greater efficiency and streamlining of benefits in the medical and nursing care fields.
- (2) Reduce social insurance premiums for the working generation.
- (3) Encourage people to take responsibility for maintaining their own health and income in old age.
4. Place public finances on a sound footing.
- (1) Adhere to the target of achieving a primary balance by fiscal 2020.
- (2) Raise consumption tax in October 2019.
- (3) Promote e-government accompanied by thorough business process re-engineering.
5. Contribute to stable and sustainable global economic development.
- (1) Strengthen unity within the G7 and international ties with countries such as the G20 nations.
- (2) Ensure stability in international financial and capital markets.
- (3) Contribute to sustainable growth of developing countries through infrastructure projects and dissemination of environmental technologies.