Global competition is surging as people, goods, capital, and information cross borders with ever greater energy. Meanwhile, our country is now feeling the effects of its rapidly aging and declining population. Japan must push forward with more structural reform and new growth strategies to deal with these issues without delay.
It will not be easy for Japan to succeed against global competition. But if companies seize the energizing effect of innovation and use that innovation to drive global economic growth and improve their management strategies, the Japanese economy will assuredly enjoy further growth. As such, we must create industries that will support Japan's progress in the long run. At the same time, we must speed the pace at which we are adopting and implementing strategies to deal with challenges from outside Japan. Continual technological innovation and managerial reform are essential in the struggle to improve the quality of our service industries and to keep raising competitiveness in one of Japan's strongest areas, manufacturing.
The government of Prime Minister Koizumi is moving ahead with structural reforms. The government's efforts, combined with those of the private sector, are laying the foundation for sustainable, stable growth. But the journey to structural reform is far from over. Nippon Keidanren therefore calls on the Japanese government to continue moving forward with reforms aimed at reducing the size of government, while taking into account the competitive environment companies are facing and the changing the thinking and behavior of the Japanese people. It is said in some circles that structural reform is creating new disparities, but the government should realize that one value formerly held dear by the Japanese people, equality of result, has evolved into new ideals they now want honored: equal opportunity and the fair distribution of rewards.
Today, businesspeople must embrace a more entrepreneurial spirit -- continuously pursue a better future, take risks without fear of change, and create new value while taking advantage of the positive attributes and strengths that the Japanese society has long had. This means that Japan must provide its young people with the training necessary to bring about a better future. Socioeconomic growth is bound to occur when society and businesses train people effectively, believe in them, and let them develop their potential to the maximum.
It was with these thoughts in mind that Nippon Keidanren listed the following issues to be addressed this fiscal year, and pledged to commit all its energy for the successful resolution of these issues. We shall urge politicians even more energetically to tackle these issues. We shall promote the view that corporate political donations are to be used for the good of society, and we shall offer support for the adoption of a policy-oriented political agenda.
At the same time, we shall do everything in our power to ensure that Japanese corporations exercise greater self-discipline and compete fairly, so that they keep the trust of people in Japan and abroad.