[ Nippon Keidanren ] [ Policy ]
Turning Adversity into an Opportunity for Progress
FY 2008 General Assembly Resolutions
May 28, 2008
Japan is in the midst of a period of great changes. In tandem with the accelerating pace of globalization and international financial instability, a global economic slowdown is creating an increasingly harsh corporate business environment in Japan, which is compounded by such factors as the sharp price increases in energy and other resources and the implementation of measures to address climate change. Moreover, a shadow over the future of our country is being cast by the declining birthrate and aging of Japanese society, the massive fiscal deficit, and public distrust in the social security system.
Despite these difficult circumstances, it is incumbent upon us to fulfill our responsibilities to future generations by ensuring sustainable economic growth and creating the "Land of Hope, Japan."
The policies we should adopt are clear. We will continue resolutely to support domestic reforms, and will take advantage of opportunities created by globalization, for example, the expansion of markets and the free movement of resources. In addition, we will draw on the vitality of Japan's private sector and the regions, or local economies, to the greatest extent possible. As we have already learned, this is the only possible prescription for enhancing further economic growth.
It is precisely during times of adversity that opportunities arise. For our part, while seeking the establishment of transparent and fair relationships in every sphere and at every level, we will continue to move forward as standard bearers of reform. In addition, to ensure steady progress is made, we will concentrate all our strength and devote ourselves fully to addressing the issues set out below:
1. Utilize the vitality of the private sector to enhance Japan's potential for economic growth.
- Support efforts to establish an advanced e-government and an electronic society, which will then serve as a catalyst for enhancing the efficiency and productivity of society as a whole and the competitive advantage of Japan's industrial sector.
- Accelerate innovation by spurring research and development, strengthening human resource development, enhancing industry-academia collaboration and intellectual property policies, and improving Japan's education system.
- As chair of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, seek the realization of a low-carbon society by promoting the development and diffusion of innovative environmental and energy technologies, utilizing Japan's technological strengths in such areas as energy conservation, nuclear power, and renewable energy, and by creating an international framework -- with all major emitters participating -- to combat climate change.
2. Strengthen competitiveness by creating a positive business environment.
- Build the foundations for international competition and secure sustainable economic growth through strategic revision of the corporate taxation structure and system of economic laws, and through strategic implementation of international standardization.
- Strengthen the international competitiveness of Japan's financial services industry by developing the Tokyo market.
- Address Japan's shrinking workforce challenge and foster economic vitality by building a society where everyone is involved, including women and elderly people, and, based on good labor-management relationships, promote a healthy work-life balance by encouraging flexible work schedules and modifying conventional personnel management and wage systems.
- Strengthen Japan's industrial competitiveness internationally and promote regional economic vitality through regulatory reforms and the opening of public services to the private sector, and develop a comprehensive distribution infrastructure in an efficient and strategic manner.
3. Guarantee people's peace of mind, security, and hope.
- Implement fundamental reform of government revenues and expenditures, including expansion of stable revenue sources such as the consumption tax, in order to establish a sustainable social security system and restore fiscal soundness.
- Reverse the downward birthrate trend by implementing effective measures to counter the decline, with the government, the corporate sector, and citizens each playing their appropriate roles.
- Guarantee energy security and food security by engaging in strategic resource diplomacy and by such means as invigorating the agricultural sector and enhancing its competitiveness.
4. Promote regional vitality to raise the standard of living of Japan as a whole.
- Promote the introduction of a regional system comprised of broad, self-reliant economic zones and characterized by genuine local self-government, and undertake administrative and fiscal reforms such as eliminating duplication of administrative functions at the national and local government levels and laterally at local levels.
- Support the formation of industrial clusters and social infrastructure, and nurture industrial and tourism activities that utilize local resources.
- Develop attractive, safe, and pleasant regions and an agreeable living and housing environment to create the conditions for comfortable and satisfying lifestyles.
5. Contribute to the dynamism of the world economy.
- Support efforts to expand and deepen Economic Partnership Agreements, including with major countries, and seek to establish an East Asian Economic Community centered on ASEAN+6 and to successfully conclude the WTO Doha Round negotiations.
- Promote domestic economic growth through structural reform measures such as encouraging direct inward investment into Japan, increasing the use of foreign workers and two-way student exchanges, and reforming trading systems.
- Support strategic international cooperation and engagement with developing countries to encourage economic growth.
6. Build a transparent and fair economy and society
- Through policy-based support for political parties, lobby to ensure that all parties apply themselves assiduously to policy issues and engage actively in constructive discussion, so that reforms are implemented rapidly.
- Devote our full energies to establishing and strengthening corporate ethics measures and ensuring that companies carry out their social responsibilities.
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