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

July 5, 2021

Landslide Disaster in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture

Serious damage has been confirmed from the large landslide in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. I would like to offer my condolences to the families of those who have died and my sincere sympathy to everyone affected by the disaster.

As rain continues in the area, rescue activities, the search for missing persons, and support for victims are ongoing. I am full of admiration for the efforts of all those involved. I pray that as many people as possible will be safely recovered and that those affected will be able to return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.

We are striving to gather information via nationwide disaster support networks, and I intend to call for cooperation from our member companies to offer support through the Keidanren 1% Club as needed.

Voluntary Suspension of Keidanren Activities by Mitsubishi Electric Chairman

Keidanren Vice Chair Masaki Sakuyama has notified me of his intention to suspend his activities as Vice Chair and committee chair until the findings of an investigation into improper conduct relating to quality control inspections at Mitsubishi Electric are released, and I have acknowledged his decision.

This inspection lapse is a serious issue concerning the fundamentals of Japanese industry, and I would like Mitsubishi Electric to conduct a thorough investigation to determine its causes. I have every expectation that this will result in the company taking appropriate steps, including measures to prevent recurrence. When a series of cases involving improper corporate conduct related to quality control occurred in 2017, Keidanren asked all its member companies and organizations to voluntarily examine their own QC practices and urged rigorous compliance with the Charter of Corporate Behavior. It is most regrettable that such problems have recurred.

[In response to a question about whether the lapse should have been explained at Mitsubishi Electric's general meeting of shareholders] Since this is a matter for the individual company, I am not aware of the circumstances. Generally speaking, it often takes time to compile information. In any case, I do not think the intention was to put off explaining the matter.

Results of Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Election

The results need to be taken seriously as the decision of the voters. The LDP and Komeito increased their seats in the assembly, but support for Governor Koike and the Tomin First No Kai (Tokyoites First) also appears to be deep-rooted. Various issues were disputed in the election campaign, including COVID-19 countermeasures and handling of the Olympics and Paralympics, and the results reflect divisions of opinion on such matters among citizens.

Workplace COVID-19 Vaccination

Based on the approach of prioritizing speed over perfection, Keidanren urged the government to accelerate the workplace vaccination rollout, and I welcome the government's response to this request. Although the temporary suspension of the workplace vaccination program is very disappointing, I expect that it will be restarted as quickly as possible. During the suspension period, I would like to ask the government to provide timely and appropriate information to minimize confusion among those involved.

Minimum Wage

I agree with the concept of achieving a virtuous economic circle through wage rises. However, given the unusual situation created by the current COVID-19 pandemic, in considering increases to the minimum wage it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to the views of SMEs and microenterprises (which are prone to the effects of such increases) as well as organizations representing SMEs.

Building National Resilience

Against the backdrop of climate change problems and geological issues including complex intersections of tectonic plates, Japan faces major challenges in building a resilient economy and society. I hope the government will continue to steadily implement five-year acceleration measures for disaster prevention/mitigation and national resilience decided in December 2020.