Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake
People in the private and public sectors have worked so hard that disposal of disaster waste as well as infrastructure restoration has considerably progressed in many of the disaster-affected areas, but we are still only halfway toward a full-fledged recovery from the catastrophe. It is time to concentrate on "industrial revival" and "reconstruction of Fukushima" to facilitate the recovery process.
It is essential for fisheries industry, marine product processing industry and tourism industry in the devastated areas to overcome the damage caused by the spread of vicious rumors so that their top priority issue, expansion of sales channels can be solved. It is also necessary for people concerned to further reinforce their long-term collaboration and cooperation to recover from the nuclear accident and revive the area.
Keidanren is determined to enhance efforts such as dispatching private-sector personnel to the Reconstruction Agency and to disaster-affected local governments as well as boosting the consumption of products from disaster-affected areas through introduction of the food from the region at various corporate events.
Economic Situation in Japan
Japan's GDP for the October-December 2014 period grew an annualized 1.5% in real terms, revised downward from a 2.2% growth reported in preliminary data. Looking at the breakdown, personal spending was upgraded from a 0.7 percentage point growth (in terms of contribution to the annualized percentage change from the preceding period) to a 1.2-point expansion. Inventory investment was downgraded from 0.7-point growth to a 0.7-point drop. I see this as a result of the drawdown of inventory in association with a rise in exports, and I expect it will have a positive effect on economic indicators from the next quarter.
The economy is making a moderate recovery against the backdrop of improvement in personal spending and exports. Japanese companies' production and investments in the domestic market are anticipated to keep increasing. These positive factors will facilitate economic recovery without doubt.