- Chairman's State of Health and Future Press Conferences
- Reform of Regulations and Systems
- Keidanren's New Growth Strategy
- Keidanren's 2020 Policy Evaluation
- Balancing COVID-19 Countermeasures with Business Activity
- Tokyo Stock Exchange System Failure
- Employment Measures
- Japan's Relations with the US and China
- US Presidential Election
Chairman's State of Health and Future Press Conferences
With the new administration taking office and measures to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic entering a fresh stage focused on balancing the prevention of infection with appropriate levels of social and business activity, Japan is in a crucial phase. In this situation, it is vital for Keidanren to communicate its views through dialogue with the media, and I would like to continue my press conferences to the greatest possible extent.
My state of health is excellent, and my treatment is progressing smoothly. I am also receiving advanced treatment to prevent any further recurrence.
I would like to make arrangements for future press conferences, including decisions on what form they will take, as appropriate at the time in consultation with my doctor and based on my state of health and treatment schedule. Your understanding is appreciated.
Reform of Regulations and Systems
At today's meeting of the chairman and vice chairs, we considered and approved a policy proposal titled "Revised Proposal for Regulatory and System Reform Aimed at Realizing Society 5.0," and I would like to take this opportunity to announce its release.
The Suga administration is throwing its weight behind specific individual measures including the establishment of a digital agency and regulatory and system reform. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Keidanren's proposal summarizes regulatory and system reforms leading to review of systems with digitalization as a prerequisite, widespread adoption of telework, and other policies.
Keidanren's New Growth Strategy
The key policy issues in the short-term are balancing infection prevention with resumption of business activity and rebuilding Japan's economy. Keidanren is considering ways of clearly setting out what has changed given the COVID-19 pandemic, together with direction for what should be changed. In the aim of realizing Society 5.0 for SDGs, under the conceptual banner of sustainable capitalism we will examine measures to promote digital transformation, regional revitalization, green growth, and other initiatives. We plan to announce the strategy once it has been developed.
Keidanren's 2020 Policy Evaluation
Evaluation of major parties' policies was also discussed at today's meeting of the chairman and vice chairs. Although donations to political parties are left to the independent judgment of Keidanren's member companies, Keidanren conducts an annual policy evaluation for members' reference. We plan to compile and publish our 2020 evaluation shortly.
The Abe administration achieved significant results in both domestic politics and diplomacy. It brought about almost eight years of political stability and set the Japanese economy back on the path to growth. Through proactive diplomacy, it raised Japan's international presence to a remarkable degree. Keidanren highly rates the achievements of the government and the ruling party.
Balancing COVID-19 Countermeasures with Business Activity
International comparison of COVID-19 infections, severe cases, and fatalities indicates that infection prevention has been skillfully managed in Japan. We are now at the stage where active exchange with other countries can be recommenced. I truly feel that it is possible to balance COVID-19 countermeasures with business activity.
Tokyo Stock Exchange System Failure
The system failure that halted stock market trading for a full day is unacceptable. Although I do not fully understand the details of its cause, all those responsible for operating the system should regard this as a serious problem of grave concern.
Special measures for the employment adjustment subsidy are due to end on December 31, and the first half of 2021 is likely to be a crucial period for employment problems. It is difficult to provide long-term support to companies suffering sharp drops in revenue. While considering business continuity and maintenance of employment, the government needs to seriously examine effective policies that will help to strengthen the competitiveness of the Japanese economy.
Japan's Relations with the US and China
As well as being allies, Japan and the US have strong economic ties and share bonds in various other fields. At the same time, China is Japan's neighbor, and as a business partner its vast population and economic might cannot be ignored. Based on these realities, while monitoring the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan needs to pursue multilateral cooperation and build forward-looking relations with both the US and China.
US Presidential Election
Regardless of whether the presidential election is won by Republican candidate Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Joe Biden, greater international cooperation is vital to dealing with global issues including the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever. Keidanren will continue to collaborate with the Japanese government and business communities in other countries.