I am starting my second year as chairman of Keidanren and have reaffirmed anew this position's weight of responsibility and importance of the role. Japan is currently in a crucial period of surely achieving a departure from deflation and an economic recovery. We are in the middle of a very important time in which government, bureaucracy, and business need to make an all-out effort to implement various policies and measures.
Keidanren is also of the opinion that this year should be the one in which we will take the first firm step forward towards achieving the economy and society described in Keidanren's Vision. Considering departure from deflation and firmly securing the path towards economic recovery as the top priority issues, Keidanren will make a collective effort to attain progress on the large number of critical policy issues.
The five issues Keidanren will tackle on a priority basis are: (1) restoring fiscal health, (2) energy policy, (3) vitalizing local economies, (4) population and (5) promotion of economic diplomacy. Concerning reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Keidanren will make collective efforts on them as special themes and continue to work proactively in these areas.
To proceed with our activities with more agility, Keidanren itself will go through reforms. In the past year, Keidanren has worked on reforming its way of thinking, enhancing its functions and further vitalizing its activities as well as restructuring its committees and strengthening overseas bases. We will henceforth continue to listen sincerely to the voices not only of our members but also those of all levels of civil society. And we will further heighten the society's trust given to us and keep on doing Keidanren's activities so that we will be able to respond to the expectations of citizens.