- Lifting of Nationwide State of Emergency
- Building a New Society
- Job-hunting and Recruitment
- Start of Schoolyear in September
Lifting of Nationwide State of Emergency
Even after the nationwide state of emergency is lifted, and until a vaccine can be developed and effective treatment protocols established, Japan will still need to strike a balance between preventing the spread of COVID-19 and putting the nation back into business. Although achieving that balance will be a challenge, Japan's coronavirus countermeasures have been working well. Accordingly, it is crucial that the nation fully harness the experience and programs of action it has relied on to date and continue to encourage avoidance of the Three Cs (closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places, and close-contact settings such as close-range conversations) as well as other measures against infection.
Many globally active companies have seen their supply chains cut off and their exports blunted, and will need a certain amount of time to recover. It is absolutely essential that we avert the financial turmoil that a string of business failures might provoke. The central government and Bank of Japan should craft a package of timely and appropriate measures in economic stimulus through coordination at the international level. In the meantime, rather than simply wait for a recovery in business demand, members of the private corporate community should pool their wisdom and find ways to create new demand and boost productivity.
From the standpoint of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, it is understandable that Japan cannot abruptly relax its current ban on the entry of foreign nationals from certain countries. However, implementing that ban along with quarantine periods of two weeks will, in addition to other measures, amount to isolating Japan from the outside world. This will have a negative impact on the economy. For that reason, I would like to see countermeasures taken at an early date while keeping our attention focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Current lockdown conditions will not halt the trend toward globalization. Appropriate countermeasures will help set the stage for Japan to reopen its national borders.
Building a New Society
The coronavirus pandemic has shown that we must move forward with action to revamp government services and styles of work.
Failure to quickly deliver the benefits of measures in government stimulus to distressed citizens and business owners has brought the challenge of digitizing government services into clear view. To translate the concept of digital government into reality, we should be shifting from talk to action.
With regard to working styles, it would be advisable to revamp time management-based employee compensation and assessments and move to approaches that base employee rewards on measures of expected performance.
Job-hunting and Recruitment
Some companies that have had their business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic have been compelled to implement layoffs. However, that has not seriously cut into the scale of the job market as a whole. As long as one is looking outside certain specific companies and sectors, job openings are available.
For the business community, this could be a good opportunity to reconsider the current practice of recruiting fresh university graduates en masse and explore open, full-year recruitment formats.
Start of Schoolyear in September
Offsetting delays in academic activity caused by school closures and transitioning to a schoolyear that starts in September are two entirely separate issues that should be addressed independently of each other. Adopting a schoolyear that starts in September will not restore the learning opportunities lost by students at the primary and secondary educational levels. Measures need to be carefully drawn up to handle the current academic year as a special case.