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Executives' Comments  Speech by Chairman New Year Message from the Chairman of Keidanren

(Tentative translation)
January 1, 2015

Sadayuki Sakakibara
Chairman, Keidanren

Abenomics is steadily producing results and the end of deflation is now within sight. This year, 2015, will be a critical one for the Japanese economy -- one in which whether or not it will be able to return to the path of full-scale growth will be determined. It is essential that the government, business, and the people, driven by a shared awareness that we are at this critical juncture and that Japan's recovery will remain out of reach if the opportunities at hand are allowed to slip by, jointly mobilize all the policy tools and measures available.

The outcome of the recent general election demonstrated that Japanese people approve of Abenomics, expect it to continue and want it to deliver additional benefits. We urge Prime Minister Abe to continue to give top priority to economic revival, and to do the utmost to address a range of key policy issues such as the following: accelerating the pace of post-earthquake reconstruction efforts; implementing regulatory reform, social security system reform, and corporate tax reform; securing stable energy supplies at a reasonable price; promoting regional revival; encouraging active participation of women in the workforce; and promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other economic partnership agreements. It is also essential that the government once again clearly outline, for the nation as well as for the international community, the path Japan will take to achieve a sound fiscal footing. The business community, for its part, will make its best efforts so that higher corporate earnings will lead to more capital investment, expanded employment and increased wages.

Keidanren believes that, as we are in the midst of a difficult era of drastic changes, the need for a medium to long-term vision about Japan as a nation is all the more acute. For this reason, at the beginning of the year, Keidanren published a document entitled "Toward the Creation of a More Affluent and Vibrant Japan," describing its own vision of Japan in the year 2030. In this document, Keidanren envisages Japan as "a nation in which younger generation of Japanese can take pride, exercise their can-do spirit, and carve out a future full of hope" as well as "a nation worthy of trust and respect by the world" and proposes specific issues that the government, business sector and the people should tackle in order to build such a nation. We are determined to make this year a year in which concrete progress will be made toward the realization of the economy and the society described in the document.

Your continued support and cooperation is very much appreciated.

Executives' Comments