[ Nippon Keidanren ] [ Policy ]

Joint Statement/Keidanren-Business Roundtable

June 11, 2009

Leading members of Nippon Keidanren and Business Roundtable met today to discuss a common agenda for promoting sustainable economic growth.

The meeting covered a range of issues including how the global economy can bounce back from the current financial and economic crisis, how to strengthen the WTO multilateral trading system and complete the Doha Development Agenda, how to prevent the resurgence of protectionism, how to strengthening Japan-U.S. economic relationship, how to promote economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, and how to address climate change. The Japanese and American business leaders agreed on the following points.

1. Response to the financial and economic crisis and achieving sustainable economic growth

Keidanren and Business Roundtable support their national economic stimulus programs and the international global financial and economic initiatives set out by the G20 in its April Communique.

Keidanren and Business Roundtable also recognize that while fiscal expansion is necessary to stimulate national and international economic recovery, it will be important that both Japan and the United States restore fiscal discipline once their economies have recovered.

2. Maintaining and reinforcing the multilateral trade and investment system

Keidanren and Business Roundtable support the WTO and remain committed to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda as soon as possible. The organizations believe that an early conclusion of the WTO Doha Round on the basis of an ambitious and balanced agreement will help promote global economic recovery.

Keidanren and Business Roundtable will continue to work together to achieve these critically important objectives.

Keidanren and Business Roundtable also remain strongly committed to supporting G20 pledge to resist protectionism.

3. Strengthening Japan-U.S. economic relationship and promoting liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region

Keidanren and the Business Roundtable agreed to continue their efforts to further strengthening our bilateral economic relationship which remain as strong as ever by considering a Japan-U.S. Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The organizations believe a Japan-U.S. EPA will contribute to the development of frameworks for broad economic partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region such as Free Trade Areas of Asia Pacific (FTAAP) or Trans-Pacific economic Partnership (TPP).

Keidanren and Business Roundtable agreed that Japan and the United States should take the maximum advantage of the opportunity presented by the next two years when Japan followed by the U.S. will take the chair at the APEC Minister Meetings and APEC Business Advisory Council meetings(ABAC), and should display leadership to promote trade and investment liberalization and economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

4. Tackling climate change

Keidanren and Business Roundtable recognize that, according to leading scientists, there is increasing evidence that the Earth's climate has been warming over the last century and that increases in temperature are affecting many global ecosystems. Because the consequences of climate change for society and ecosystems are potentially serious and far-reaching, steps to address the risks of such climate change are prudent now, even while the science continues to evolve.

Keidanren and Business Roundtable also shared the view that it is important to strike an adequate balance among environmental protection, energy security and global economic growth. The organizations also support collective, international actions that will lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a global basis, with the goal of slowing increases in atmospheric concentrations and eventually stabilizing them at levels that will reduce the risks of climate change.

To this end, Keidanren and Business Roundtable believe that it is indispensable to establish a fair and effective framework with the participation of all major emitting countries including the United States and emerging economies such as China and India.

Technology will play a critical role in helping reduce GHG emissions worldwide while ensuring robust economic growth in the decades ahead. While governments can provide a framework for global GHG emissions reductions and assistance for the development of critical technologies, the business community will and must play a critical role in the development and deployment of new, efficient, low-carbon technologies and in driving energy efficiency.

Keidanren and the Business Roundtable believe that only a balanced portfolio of technologies coupled with international policy leadership can ensure substantial GHG emissions reductions while significantly mitigating the negative effects on worldwide economic growth caused by higher energy prices.

The organizations are committed to continuing their close cooperation in regards to deepening and expanding the bilateral economic relations, as well as to promoting the growth of the global economy.

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