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Policy Proposals  Comprehensive Strategy Approaches to Current Issues ( December 2016 )

December 5, 2016

1. The Government Budget Proposal for the Next Fiscal Year

We will call for the emphasis of the budget to be placed on measures that raise the potential growth rate, such as investment in research and development and investment in human resources, and demand the curbing of growth of expenditure related to social security by streamlining and optimizing social security benefits, in order to ensure a well-focused budget compilation aimed at striking a balance between realizing a virtuous economic cycle and fiscal consolidation.

2. Spring Labor Negotiations

As part of efforts to escape deflation and achieve continuous economic growth, the momentum of wage increases needs to be kept up next year as well, in order to further develop the initiatives that the business community have maintained over the last three years. Next year's labor negotiations will again address the subject of wage increases on an annual income basis at companies whose profits have expanded, while at the same time taking into consideration demands from society to ensure the strong circulation of a virtuous economic cycle.

3. Realization of "Society 5.0"

We will achieve a "super smart society," known as "Society 5.0," which seeks to bring about a revolution in productivity and solve social issues through the use of the Internet of Things, robots, artificial intelligence, and big data. In order to do so, we will encourage capital investment in fields that show promise of growth in the future, the expansion of investment in research and development, and open innovation with universities, venture companies, and other such organizations.

4. Tax Reform

In tax reform in fiscal 2017, we will seek to ensure that the competitiveness of companies is enhanced through the maintenance and expansion of tax schemes promoting research and development, in turn further accelerating growth strategy. With respect to international taxation, in pursuing initiatives such as the review of controlled foreign company rules, efforts will be made to develop systems to ensure that business operators do not face excessive administrative burdens, in addition to adequately preventing tax evasion.

5. Global Warming and Energy

In seeking to support efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on a global scale on the basis of the Paris Agreement, we will steadily progress with our action plan entitled "Commitment to a Low Carbon Society", as well as closely observing developments in the government's formulation of long-term strategies, and opposing the introduction of regulatory policies such as new taxation or emissions trading systems. In order to achieve the stable supply of electricity at economically-efficient rates, we will expedite the resumption of operations of nuclear power plants with the fundamental prerequisite that safety will be ensured. We will pay close attention to movements in reform of the electric power system, so as to contribute to ensuring a stable electricity supply at moderate rates.

6. Recruitment and Selection Activities

With regard to the "Guidelines on Recruitment and Selection" of recruits to enter companies from 2019 onward, we will consider necessary revisions to the guidelines, including revisions to the dates of commencing activities, and promptly determine the measures to be taken. As we do so, we will take into account factors such as impact on academic studies and the actual conditions of company activities.

7. Promotion of Participation of Diverse Human Resources and Reform of Working Styles

In order to seek to utilize diverse human resources, we will continue to further the "Action Plan on Women's Active Participation in the Workforce," as well as making efforts to promote the active participation of older people. In addition to enhancing initiatives such as those aimed at rectifying long working hours, we will also consider what are appropriate regulations for upper limits on working hours, both from the perspective of protecting workers and from that of maintaining the continuity of work. With regard to equal pay for equal work, we will give sufficient consideration to Japan's employment practices and draw on this to pursue discussions in greater depth, as well as investing efforts toward improving the treatment of non-regular employees, such as efforts to ensure that non-regular employees are given opportunities to switch to regular employment.

8. Economic Relations with Countries in Asia

In order to further strengthen and develop the close, mutually-beneficial relationships between Japan and Asian countries, it is essential to stimulate exchange at all levels and in all fields, including politics, diplomacy, and economics. Keidanren will also engage in facilitating friendly and cooperative relations through policy dialogues with the public and private sector leaders in countries around the region, such as the Japan-China-ROK Business Summit.

9. Economic Relations with the United States, Europe, and Russia

We will build relations with the new US administration and Congress, thereby enhancing cooperative economic relations. In the process of doing so, we will advocate the economic and strategic significance of the TPP Agreement. In addition to calling for general agreement on the Japan-EU EPA within the year, we will seek understanding from the UK and the EU regarding the concerns of Japanese companies related to the UK's withdrawal from the EU. We will actively participate in materializing an eight-point plan for cooperation with Russia, as well as working toward even closer and deeper cooperation between the public and private sectors of the two countries.

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Comprehensive Strategy