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Executives' Comments  Press Conferences Chairman Sakakibara's Statements and Comments
at His Press Conference

June 13, 2016

Britain's Withdrawal from the EU (Brexit)

Brexit is an important issue that could potentially have a significant impact both on the Japanese economy and on the global economy. There are more than 1,000 companies from Japan that have entered the UK market and are engaging in business activities there. These are investments made in the context of the UK being a member of the EU. While these companies are manufacturing products in the UK, those products are intended for sale in other EU member nations as well, and the investments are therefore premised upon the fact that they would be exempt from tariffs and that the customs procedures would be simplified. If the UK were to leave the EU, this premise would change entirely, and that would have an enormous impact. Moreover, given the impact such a move would have on the global financial and capital markets, it has led to a higher yen and lower stock prices.

Even if the national referendum results in a victory for the Brexit advocates, I believe that the British government will take some time and carry out negotiations with the EU. And we do not even know through what process and in what form Brexit will proceed. In that context, it seems that the fears of such an exit are getting ahead of the facts and the market is overreacting.

Monetary Policy

It is critical that we comprehensively mobilize and implement appropriately monetary policy, fiscal policy, and structural reforms as a whole. In terms of further monetary easing, any decision must be made by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) based on thorough discussions. Now is not the time for demands from the business community. Only a short period has passed since the BOJ introduced negative interest rates, and so I believe that we should take time to observe what impact this policy brings about.

Recruitment and Employment of New College Graduates

Based on Keidanren's new guideline, the interview session of the recruitment process of new college graduates began on June 1. This guideline, which Keidanren modified last year, reflected requests from the government and universities, and a key change was that the start of the selection process was pushed to June in order to ensure that students have sufficient time to study in their fourth year and to avoid a prolonged recruitment period. I believe that almost all of Keidanren member companies are carrying out their recruitment processes in keeping with this guideline. The government has also broadly requested that every company—including Keidanren members—and other business federations respect Keidanren's guideline.

Upper House Elections

Three and a half years have passed since the start of the Abe administration, and it has achieved a number of major accomplishments in the areas of domestic politics and foreign affairs. Thanks to the promotion of Abenomics, many economic indices have shown improvement. Currently, the economic recovery has come to a standstill, and in order to achieve an economy with GDP of 600 trillion yen by 2020, the government must strongly pursue the second phase of Abenomics. It is indispensable to ensure a stable political foundation to continue to carry out policies as has been done to date. I look forward to seeing the current administration continue to secure a stable political base.

Immigration Policy

Up until now, there has been hardly any debate in Japan on immigration policy. However, immigration policy should not be considered a taboo subject, but rather must be discussed as an issue for the future. I would like to give serious thought to immigration, including asking whether it will not be an issue in the mid- to long-term even if we do not think about it at all. At Keidanren, we will take time to deliberate what the most appropriate immigration policy would be based on Japan's current circumstances, national affairs, and social conditions.

Executives' Comments