The Aims of Establishing
the 21st Century Public Policy Institute

March 18, 1997

Japan has continued down a path of economic development while pursuing modernization and greater democracy. However, for the country to meet today's challenges - the rapid shift toward an information society, conservation of the global environment, mega-competition, demographic aging and the trend toward fewer children - and to revive its economy to a state of health and robust vitality, it must invest greater efforts in the following areas: (1) building a framework that engenders international peace; (2) giving expression to the autonomy and creativity of the Japanese people; (3) creating a market-based economic society that is open domestically and internationally; and (4) ensuring discipline in business society.

Against such a perspective, and in the context of the trend away from "government" toward the "people", the private sector must play a pivotal role in formulating strategies, and in proposing and executing concrete measures, which lead to the rebuilding of a highly vigorous economic society. For this to happen, the private sector will have to make even greater contributions toward the shaping of such public policy. But, in order to present a convincing case to the Japanese people on where the country is heading hereafter, and to deepen the debate on policies which would set the country resolutely on this course, new approaches will be required.

Accordingly, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Keidanren has decided to establish this policy research institute, with the aims of: integrating the wisdom that is available inside and outside Japan; proposing policy concepts that deal objectively and incisively with the questions of how the Japanese people can rebuild an attractive and animated Japanese society by fully expressing their autonomy and creativity in an international society facing inevitable change, and of how Japan should go about furthering the interests of peace and development in the world; and evolving a program of serious discussions with the Japanese people regarding the kind of country they hoped to create in the future.

These activities would also be a way of responding to calls for a greater intellectual contribution by Japan in international society.

Based on the achievements of this research institute, the Keidanren would move toward adding further depth and range to its policy-proposal capabilities, and toward strengthening its policy-promotion activities.

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