Executives' Comments Press Conferences
Chairman Nakanishi's Statements and Comments
at His Press Conference
- Keidanren Policy Priorities
- Japanese Economy
- Energy Policy
- Regional Revitalization
- Keidanren Committee on Management and Labor Policy
- Japan-South Korea Relations
Keidanren Policy Priorities
I returned to my duties today, three-and-a-half months after being admitted to hospital in late May. I am still undergoing treatment and do not expect to be fully active right away, but I will work to restore my physical strength and make my best efforts to fulfill my responsibilities.
As US-China friction heats up, Japan's relations with South Korea deteriorate, and Brexit issues remain unresolved, the global situation is extremely unstable and unpredictable. In these circumstances, Japan needs to maintain strong economic growth and take the lead in creating a bright future for society. Keidanren will prioritize (a) realization of Society 5.0, (b) economic structural reforms, (c) electricity system reforms, and (d) private-sector economic diplomacy.
The impact of discord between the US and China is gradually starting to show on the world economy. Amid signs of hesitancy about proactive investment, the effects are being reflected in real demand. The situation is likely to become tougher heading into next year.
Despite this, Japan has not experienced a significant downturn, and I have the impression that companies are still investing solidly in readiness for changes in industrial structures.
Since discussion of Japan's energy policy is intertwined with liberalization of the electricity sector, system design is more complex than in other countries. Although the Japanese economy is not slowing, electricity demand is falling due to factors including advances in energy-saving. The difficulty is that new investment is required at a time when electricity markets are shrinking. For example, to expand introduction of renewable energy, investment will be needed to install transmission lines, promote widespread use of storage batteries, and achieve a shift to distributed supply and demand models, but mechanisms have not been created to enable operators to recover their investments. Keidanren will accelerate discussions while collaborating with government to build mechanisms that encourage the necessary investment.
Keidanren has promoted various regional revitalization initiatives over the last few years, and results are steadily beginning to appear. As the population falls, however, regions are being depleted faster than these efforts come to fruition. This situation is concerning, but there is no silver bullet for regional decline. First of all, Keidanren wants to help regions become even more attractive and dynamic by energizing industries such as agriculture and tourism, draw in more people, and thus show greater vitality.
Throughout Japan supply chains are being rebuilt to cope with digital transformation, and companies also need to make solid efforts in light of regional circumstances as they address this issue.
Keidanren Committee on Management and Labor Policy
Recent meetings of the Keidanren Committee on Management and Labor Policy have gone beyond preparing management's approach to spring labor-management wage dialogues and become a forum for discussing topics of common interest to the workers and executives who underpin Japan's industrial structures, including employment and working styles. Discussion is now focusing on Japanese-style employment. Workers have issues with engagement, perceiving a lack of feedback on their own work. In the Committee we will thoroughly discuss these issues and compose a message on creation of fulfilling workplaces for publication in our report.
Japan-South Korea Relations
In addition to historical issues, current political uncertainties on the Korean peninsula present difficult challenges. The Japanese and South Korean business communities are maintaining good relationships. I hope that this will lead to better bilateral relations.
More than three years have passed since the referendum decided in favor of leaving the EU. The risk is growing that the UK will crash out of the union with no deal—an outcome we wholeheartedly hoped would be averted. This is a very undesirable situation. However, Britain is a crucial country for Japanese companies' global business development, and enterprises cannot simply decide that they can no longer invest in the UK. We will continue to monitor the new industrial structures that Britain will create after leaving the EU.