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

March 8, 2021


Appointment of Vice Chairs of Keidanren and Vice Chairs of the Board of Councillors

An unofficial decision was made at today's Meeting of Chairman and Vice Chairs on the candidates for vice chairs of Keidanren and vice chairs of the Board of Councillors to be formally appointed at the General Assembly this year (on June 1).

Vice Chairs Yamauchi, Shindo, Yamanishi, Hayakawa, and Ochi are due to step down. An unofficial decision was made to replace them with Masaki Sakuyama, chairman of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Toshiaki Higashihara, president of Hitatchi, Ltd.; Eiji Hashimoto, president of Nippon Steel Corporation; Kazuhiro Tsuga, president of Panasonic Corporation; Keichi Iwata, president of Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited; Tomoko Namba, chairman of DeNA Co., Ltd.; and Masakazu Kubota, director general of Keidanren's Secretariat.

We plan to revise Keidanren's Articles of Incorporation to increase the maximum number of vice chairs from 18 to 20.

Vice Chairs Endo, Kobori, and Tokura of the Board of Councillors will also be completing their term, and Vice Chair Tsuga will resign from the Board to serve as vice chair of Keidanren. The tentative new appointees for vice chairs of the Board are Shigeru Hayakawa, vice chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, who will step down as Keidanren vice chair at the General Assembly in June; Masaya Futamiya, chairman of Sompo Japan Insurance, Inc.; Yoshiro Aikawa, president of Taisei Corporation; Koji Nagai, chairman of Nomura Holdings, Inc.; and Takahito Tokita, president of Fujitsu Limited.

All candidates were selected based on an overall assessment of their personal character, knowledge, management skills, and other attributes.

Keidanren's Proposal on Electricity Policy Toward Realizing Carbon Neutrality by 2050

"Electricity Policy Toward Realizing Society 5.0 with Carbon Neutral," a new Keidanren proposal on electricity policy, was adopted at today's Meeting of Chairman and Vice Chairs. I would like to take this opportunity to announce this proposal.

Since Keidanren issued its first proposal on electricity policy (in April 2019), there have been drastic changes in the environment surrounding electric power, brought about by the enactment of the "Act of Partial Revision of the Electricity Business Act and Other Acts for Establishing Resilient and Sustainable Electricity Supply Systems," the Suga cabinet's announcement of its policy to make Japan "carbon neutral by 2050" (hereinafter, 2050CN), and so forth. We, therefore, drafted a second proposal on electricity policy with the aim of calling for building a mechanism to promote the stimulation and maturation of the electricity market at an early date.

This proposal calls for policies that need to be adopted immediately for realizing 2050CN in the electric power sector, including: 1) promotion of investment in non-carbon power sources; 2) utilization of pumps and storage cells, which are becoming increasingly important as adjustment mechanism; 3) promotion of smart grids that will facilitate the greater utilization of distributed resources; and 4) building a power network to supply renewable energies where they are needed. Furthermore, since it will be difficult to achieve 2050CN without nuclear power, it is necessary to engage in serious discourse on the use of nuclear power in order to win the people's understanding.

[Asked about the need for a comprehensive strategy for the achievement of 2050CN] Energy policy is not formulated by simply collating the opinions of various ministries. We hope that a comprehensive debate will advance under the leadership and initiative of Prime Minister Suga. The business sector will also actively voice its opinion in this process.

Diversity and Inclusion

The achievement of diversity and inclusion will require taking steps with great determination, going as far as changing the social structure. We are aware that there are issues with regard to the chairman and vice chairs of Keidanren. Since Keidanren needs to incorporate the voices of a broad range of business sectors in its activities, it will maintain its policy of having the executives of leading companies join its leadership while also continuing to consider what else can be done.

On the other hand, we understand that the government's goal of "30% women in leadership positions" is a strong appeal to companies and society as a whole. There are many working women who are keen to take up management positions, and this is an encouraging sign. We hope for leaps and bounds in Japan's diversity from now on.

Keidanren's Important Policy Issues for the Next Fiscal Year

Under ". The NEW Growth Strategy," we would like to implement digital transformation, workstyle reform, green growth, and other important policies that Keidanren has long advocated.

Extension of the State of Emergency Declaration

The decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19 infection had leveled off in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures, and there had not been any significant decrease in the turnout of people on the streets. I believe that the government made the tough decision to extend the state of emergency declaration based on an overall assessment of the economic condition, the availability of medical services, and other factors and had determined that a firm response was necessary.

Executives' Comments