[ Nippon Keidanren ] [ Policy ]
(Tentative Translation)

Urgent Policy Proposal for the Recovery and Restoration
from the Earthquake Disaster

- Towards an Earliest Possible Restoration of the Afflicted Areas
and the Creation of a New Japan -

March 31, 2011
Nippon Keidanren

Keidanren held the first meeting of its Special Committee for Recovery and Restoration on March 31. It was chaired by Mr. Hiromasa Yonekura, Chairman of Keidanren. The member's serious and thorough discussion bore fruit, "Urgent policy proposal for recovery and restoration from the earthquake -- Toward an earliest possible restoration of the afflicted areas and the creation of a new Japan."

The proposal presses the Japanese government for the enactment of the basic law for immediate recovery and restoration of devastated region as well as the establishment of an Earthquake Disaster Restoration Agency. Tax, fiscal and financial measures are needed to support the victims. Deregulation is an essential part of the policy mix needed to push forward recovery and restoration activities. Various measures to secure employment in the disaster areas should be reinforced. The opinion paper stresses that restoration funds should be secured maintaining the promotion of policies toward fiscal soundness.

The committee also proposes policy measures to tackle with the electric power shortage in the areas where Tokyo Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power are supposed to supply energy.

Japan is indeed facing a national crisis. All citizens must unite and work in a collective effort for the quickest possible recovery from the earthquake damage and the creation of a new Japan.

Of utmost importance is that the nation of Japan strives with a sense of urgency to aid those affected, recovery of the afflicted areas, an early conclusion of the nuclear crisis and the rebuilding of Japan's economy.

In order to achieve these objectives, a strong political leadership is indispensable.

Keidanren posted the proposition "Urgent Appeal for an Early Recovery and Restoration from an Unprecedented Earthquake Disaster" on March 16, which focused on the earliest possible recovery of the livelihood of those affected and the industry and economy of the afflicted areas.

Moving forward, efforts towards the reconstruction of the afflicted areas will be important. In carrying out these efforts, the Japanese government must establish a command center with strong authority, and haste towards formulating a "basic law" and "master plan," reflecting sufficiently the voices of those in the afflicted areas, for the early reconstruction of and creation of a new Japan.

Likewise, the business community is in the position of fully committing to revitalizing the Japanese economy, starting with an early reconstruction of supply chains and the maintenance of industrial infrastructure.

1. Developing a Strong System for an Early Recovery

  1. (1) Establishing within the government a command center with strong authority
  2. (2) An early formulation of "basic law" (basic law concerning recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake)
  3. (3) Unified implementation of national measures and a strengthened cooperation between the government and local public entities
    • Establishing an "Earthquake Disaster Recovery Agency (tentative name)," promoting dialogue between local governments (both at the prefectural and basic levels of local government) which contemplates and introducing a prefectural system, etc.

2. Building a New Region and Town

  1. (1) Formulating and implementing various "master plans" (master plans for expansive reconstruction, expansive infrastructure development, etc.)
  2. (2) Facilitating urban reconstruction
    • Quick constitution and implementation of urban reconstruction plans, removal of rubble and restriction of building via limitation on private rights, smooth disposal of waste, acceleration of housing reconstruction, restoration of local industry, taking steps to provide assistance through tax, finance, etc., required to promote various measures, audacious use of reconstruction special zones and private finance initiatives, etc.
  3. (3) Reassuring urban safety and security
    • Promoting the use of technology concerning disaster management and mitigation, etc.

3. Reconstruction of Industry

  1. (1) Drafting and implementing plans for expansive reconstruction of industries (including agriculture, forestry, fishery and livestock)
  2. (2) Prompt response to prevent damage of from rumors of radiation (including appropriate and swift information disclosure and communicating with foreign governments and international organizations)
  3. (3) Maintenance and recovery of business activities
    • Acceleration of building reconstruction, assistance towards affected businesses (agriculture, forestry, fishery, livestock, construction companies, small and mid-sized companies, etc.), relaxing various regulatory and licensing procedures for recovery and reconstruction, etc.
  4. (4) Taxation measures for assistance of those affected peoples and companies
    • Flexible response towards application or payment deadlines of individuals and companies (expansion of designated range, extension of deadline), promoting special and new investment concerning acquisition of affected alternative assets, applying casualty loss deduction for 2010 income of individuals, refunding companies for earthquake loss, etc.
  5. (5) Financial response
    • Continuation of strong monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, funding measures towards small and mid-sized companies especially in the afflicted areas, expansion of emergency credit lines by governmental financial institutions, etc.
  6. (6) Response with the Corporation Law, etc. (including companies with account settlements from March 2011 onward)
    • Approval of flexible responses towards submissions of securities reports, periods of announcing account settlements, handling of audits, holding periods, holding procedures and proceeding operations of stockholder meetings, etc.

4. Maintaining and securing employment in the afflicted areas

  1. (1) Early implementation of new reconstruction operations to create local jobs
  2. (2) Assistance towards company efforts to maintain jobs
    • Enhancement of employment adjustment subsidies for affected business owners, etc.
  3. (3) Bringing stability to the lives of those who lost their jobs and supporting their early reemployment
    • Enhancing employment insurance benefits, etc. for those affected as well as securing their living space while they are job hunting, improving convenience of work consultation in afflicted areas (one-stop service), etc.
  4. (4) Providing work opportunities
    • Assisting companies that will hire those affected (including new graduates), efforts to prioritize employment of those affected in public reconstruction projects.
  5. (5) Response such as smooth labor insurance benefits
    • Simplification of application procedures, acceleration of payment, reduction or exemption of labor insurance fees for business owners in the afflicted areas, etc.

5. Securing sources of funding for restoration and realizing fiscal soundness

  1. (1) Early formulation of budgetary measures, etc., needed for reconstruction (including supplementary budget)
  2. (2) Adherence to a mid- to long-term fiscal soundness policies and reaching a national consensus on the cost burdens of reconstruction
  3. (3) Deliberate over ideal reconstruction funding
    • Utilization of reserve funds, raising financial resources through restructuring the 2011 budget, (if funds are still lacking) considering emergency issuance of government bonds or a period of tax increase, etc.

* Furthermore, power supply measures for the time being, centered on the Kanto and Tohoku regions, as listed on the attachment, are required.


Measures for Electricity and Energy

1. Electricity supply measures, etc., necessary for the time being

(1) Enhancement of electricity supply

  1. Maximum utilization of electric power generators
    • Reviving inactive plants and facilitating their periodic inspections, improving efficiency of thermal power plants, temporary relaxation of environmental and safety regulations for flexible utilization of home power generators, temporary relaxation of water intake limits relating to hydroelectric power, etc.
  2. Promote the introduction of new facilities
    • Introducing new electric generating equipment, promoting new establishment of home power generators, relaxation of approval of installing new power sources (thermal, hydro, home generators, etc.), simplification of environmental assessment, temporary relaxation of environmental regulations, etc.
  3. Facilitation of fuel procurement
    • Mitigation of responsibilities of stockpiling LPG and petroleum products, tax reduction or exemption for power generating fuel, etc.

(2) Measures for electricity conservation and leveling of demand

  1. Industrial and business measures
    • Support the promotion of energy-saving facilities, flexible operation of working hour management system such as flextime, support the introduction of electric generating equipment and batteries for hospitals and those receiving home medical treatment that are without electric generators, etc.
  2. Home measures
    • Create incentives for the spreading of electricity conservation and energy-saving equipment, real-time notifications of power supply conditions via television, etc.
  3. Electricity conservation of the public sector

(3) Other

  1. Deferment of non-urgent power line relocation
  2. System to purchase total amount of renewable energy, deferment of global warming tax, etc.

2. Consideration of drastic measures

  1. Thorough investigation of the cause of the nuclear power plant accidents and their prevention.
  2. Holding public debates on energy and climate change measures.
  3. Consideration of introducing daylight savings or more radical time-shift measures.
  4. Arouse public debate on appropriate life-style changes going forward.

3. Formulation and implementation of "Electric Power Voluntary Action Plan (tentative name)"

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