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

June 6, 2022

Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2022 (Basic Policy)

Keidanren's stance is that the economy forms the foundation of government finances. However, since unstable government finances impede adoption of medium- and long-term policies, sights must remain set on fiscal consolidation. One matter where progress has been made in this year's Basic Policy is the attempt to eliminate the harmful effects of restricting the setting and expenditure of budgets to a single fiscal year. Investment related to GX and increases in defense expenditure are policy issues that should be considered over the medium to long term, and require budgetary measures spanning several fiscal years.

Grand Design and Implementation Plan for New Capitalism

Overcoming issues caused by excessive shareholder capitalism and market principles—notably those relating to preservation of global ecosystems and expansion, entrenchment, and reproduction of disparities—involves many measures to build an inclusive society through a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution.

Price Rises and Wage Increases

Ideally, it is desirable to drive the economy by covering rising prices with pay scale increases and reflecting business results in bonuses as they occur.

In the short term, prices have risen in conjunction with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but there is an opportunity to create a virtuous economic cycle if such hikes can lead to increased consumption and investment and continuing price rises through wage increases and social security reforms. On the other hand, to ensure that rising prices for raw materials and other inputs do not harm SME earnings, Keidanren is encouraging fair transaction prices by participating in the Declaration of Partnership Building initiative.

"Go To Travel" Campaign

I hope that re-starting the "Go To Travel" campaign will aid the recovery of the tourism industry and regional industries that have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, ensuring the safety and security of both tourists and travel destinations is a key prerequisite to promoting tourism while living with COVID-19. The re-start of the "Go To Travel" campaign should proceed in stages while gaining the understanding of the public.

Resumption of Private-sector Economic Diplomacy

Although in-person exchanges with overseas governments and business groups have been difficult during the pandemic, Keidanren has used methods such as online tools to advance policy dialogue as much as possible. Now that infections have subsided, we intend to revitalize face-to-face communication.

Keidanren has dispatched missions to Washington, DC and other locations throughout the US every year since 2015, but has been unable to do so since February 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic. While monitoring the COVID-19 situation as normality returns, we aim to resume such missions as soon as possible.

China is one of Japan's most important economic partners, and building constructive and stable bilateral relations is essential to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. While we have been unable to conduct visits to China by joint delegations of Japanese business associations, Keidanren has engaged in a series of online exchanges, namely, Japan-China CEO and Former Senior Officials' Dialogue. Building on last year's efforts, we plan to hold similar summits this year, when we will also mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. Keidanren recently took the lead in establishing an committee to promote celebration of this anniversary. We plan to hold a commemorative reception on September 29, the actual anniversary of normalization.

(In response to a question on the significance of private-sector exchanges) Channels of dialogue should be maintained even at times of friction and other problems between nations, and private-sector exchanges fulfill this role. When relations between countries are challenging, it is especially crucial to continue private-sector exchanges based on common interests.

Economic Exchange with South Korea

Japan and South Korea are like-minded countries that share the values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and equality under the law. They are partners with a long history of exchange. Since the administration of President Yoon Suk-yeol took office, the mood of Japan-South Korea relations has become more amicable, and I would like to harness this momentum to promote exchange. Keidanren has held annual meetings with the Federation of Korean Industries since 1983, alternating between Tokyo and Seoul. The meetings were postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but we are currently considering arrangements to meet in Seoul in due course.

Executives' Comments