New Year's greeting
A Year for Action and for Progress
The chairman of Keidanren offers some thoughts on appropriate priorities for his organization and for Japan in 1995
Our priorities for the year are clear.
Last year, Japan finally began to show signs of emerging from its prolonged economic slump. We took our first steps toward deregulation and other kinds of structural reform. We also got a new election law, which marked the first phase in serious political reform.
- First and most important, we must do our part to promote deregulation. All of us in industry must transcend parochial concerns about the disadvantages that deregulation might pose for our individual industries or companies. And we must work to make the larger advantages of deregulation apparent to our fellow citizens in Japan. This will be a pivotal year for deregulation in Japan, and our efforts in the coming months could prove decisive.
- Second, we must step up our efforts to cultivate creative human resources suitable to the new kinds of industries and technologies we want to foster in Japan. The time has come for industries and companies to take the initiative through concrete measure for encouraging free-thinking creativity.
- Third, we must participate in building more-constructive relations between Japan and other nations. We at Keidanren took an important step last year by inaugurating a dialogue with the Business Roundtable, which is an influential group of American business leaders. This year, we need to further that dialogue and nurture dialogue with business people in Europe, in Asian nations, and in other regions.
We witnessed a genuine shifting of the tides in Japanese awareness last year. People began to recognize that profound reform will be necessary for lasting economic vitality. And they began to agree on the need for Japan to make an expanded contribution toward global peace and prosperity. But we are just beginning to come to terms with the pertinent issues. This year, we must start producing visible progress.
I expressed my concern in the November issue of Gekkan keidanren that Japan--unless it makes some major changes--could get left by the wayside in global industrial and economic development. But I remain optimistic. I believe that our sense of crisis can provide the motivation for us to develop a vision for a bright future and to take the necessary steps to translate that vision into reality.
In that spirit, I want to call on all of us to undertake bold and dramatic change this year. Let us have the courage for action and an appetite for progress.
Keidanren (Federation of Economic Organizations) :
A federation of major Japanese companies, Keidanren functions as the collective voice of corporate Japan.
Chairman of Keidanren since May 1994, Toyoda also serves as chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation.
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