Messages from Monthly Keidanren, October 1997

“self-responsibility”, “self-disclosure” and “self-reassessment”

Hirotaro Higuchi
Vice Chairman, Keidanren

The waves of reform are sweeping over the country. And to tide over the waves, “self” is my word. What I mean by “self” is “self-responsibility,” “self-disclosure” and “self-reassessment.”


Each and every corporation is responsible for their own business activities, and nobody else, including government, is. The ongoing reforms include deregulation and the easing of regulations. And that in turn allows us more freedom in business. More freedom means more responsibility. In the workplace, the executives and rank and file employees have to strive to create and maintain an ethical work environment where everybody is responsible.


Open, candid communication is the key to survival in the free and global competition. Speak up and report concerns in the workplace, including violations of laws and regulations and what corrective action to take. That will restore public confidence in business.


Take a look at yourself!
Now is the time to reassess corporate behavior and build a new flexible system to fit the global business environment. The Japanese-style management backed up Japan's rapid economic growth in the postwar period and now it has reached its limits. Something has to be done to get out of the rut.

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