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

July 11, 2022

Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe

I am profoundly shocked by the untimely passing of former Prime Minister Abe. Such violence against political activity is utterly intolerable, no matter what the reason.

Mr. Abe achieved great things in both domestic affairs and diplomacy. He not only enhanced Japan's presence in the international community, but also left a huge legacy of accomplishments, which included preparing thorough security responses to a challenging international situation.

He maintained his vigorous activity after stepping down from the post of prime minister, giving thought to the future of the nation and raising useful questions about Japan's course.

Following the tragic news, numerous heartfelt condolences were sent from people in Japan and abroad. These kind words are testimony to just what an unforgettable presence Mr. Abe was for so many.

The loss of this great leader is truly a national loss for Japan. From the bottom of my heart, I pray that he will rest in peace.

Achievements of the Abe Administration

In economic policy, he advanced Abenomics in the aim to end to deflation. Abenomics also improved the employment environment, creating around five million jobs and reducing the employment rate to below 3%. To eliminate uncertainty over the future of social security, the administration took decisive action in raising the consumption tax rate twice. It also engaged energetically in diplomacy and raised Japan's international presence, for example by developing the concept of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" aimed at peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

House of Councillors Election Results

The Liberal Democratic Party secured a majority of the contested seats, and I wholeheartedly welcome the maintenance of political strength and stability, including the role played by coalition partner Komeito. I regard the result as reflecting public approval for the direction set by the Kishida administration so far. Keidanren will continue to cooperate in all aspects of the administration's policy implementation and promote efforts to establish a sustainable and prosperous future society as a driving force for growth and resolution of social issues.

(In response to a question on expectations for the administration's economic policies) I hope that the government will achieve a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution founded on investment in people. In the "three golden years" to 2025, during which no national elections will take place, I expect firm policy implementation that not only addresses immediate issues, but also takes a medium- to long-term perspective in areas such as energy security measures and promotion of green transformation and digital transformation.

Role of Nuclear Power Generation in Energy Policy

In promoting green transformation, energy policy needs to be implemented from the perspectives of safety plus economic security, economic efficiency, and environment (S+3E). Russia's invasion of Ukraine has highlighted energy security. Japan's geographical characteristics do not enable interchange of electricity with other countries and make it difficult to sharply scale up renewable energy in a short time. Given these circumstances, nuclear power generation plays a large role in Japan's energy policy, and it is vital to foster public understanding. With the understanding of local communities and assurance of safety and security as key prerequisites, the government should move ahead swiftly with restarting nuclear power generation, replacing older facilities, and building new ones.

Easing of Border Measures

(In response to a question on the pros and cons of easing border measures amid a rise in COVID-19 infections) The government should focus on scientific and rational measures to prevent infection. Other countries are currently easing border restrictions, and Japan needs to align itself with such moves. Since Japan finally moving towards to open up the country, we should make the most of this momentum.

Visit to South Korea

Keidanren's visit to Seoul on July 4-6 heralded a return to normal in Japan-South Korea relations. As well as talks with key government figures including President Yoon Suk-yeol, we held discussions with leaders of the Federation of Korean Industries. I had a sense of strong desire and enthusiasm to normalize bilateral relations.

Japan and South Korea play key roles in Asia, and are like-minded countries that share principles such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. Being countries built on trade as well as science and technology, we also have similar growth engines and face the common social issues of energy security and falling birth rates coupled with aging societies. Although there are unresolved issues between our two countries, we agreed in our recognition that Japan-South Korea cooperation is essential amid rising geopolitical risks in Asia.

Executives' Comments