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Messages from Keidanren Executives January, 2018 Pushing Forward to an Economy with GDP of 600 Trillion Yen

Sadayuki SAKAKIBARA Chairman, Keidanren

Since being appointed as Keidanren chairman in 2014, I have made every effort to realize Keidanren's vision "Toward the Creation of a More Affluent and Vibrant Japan." The employment environment has now improved significantly, and the Japanese economy has grown gradually but consistently, achieving a very-long term economic expansion. Building on this progress, we aim to make 2018 a year to set economic revitalization on a firm footing and push toward an economy with GDP of 600 trillion yen. Keidanren will take the initiative in pursuing this goal, focusing chiefly on three challenges.

The first is growth strategy, driven by the 10 Strategic Public-Private Joint Projects that the business community advocates. "Society 5.0", which heads the list of these ten projects, is particularly crucial. Society 5.0 represents a future in which IoT, big data, AI, robots, and other innovative technologies will be fully implemented to optimize individual lives and society as a whole. This image of a future society where economic growth is consistent with solutions to social challenges aligns with the ideals set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In fall 2017, Keidanren revised its Charter of Corporate Behavior in the aim of proactively delivering on the SDGs through the realization of Society 5.0. We will strive to place Japan as a global front-runner in achieving SDGs.

The second challenge is structural reform. We will further strengthen our efforts to reshape various systems in order to encourage corporate activity, including regulatory and tax reforms. We will also continue to highlight the need for sustainable social security systems and fiscal consolidation in order to remove people's concerns about the future.

The third challenge is economic diplomacy. Through policy dialogue with political and business leaders in the United States, Europe, China, and other key economic partners, we will contribute to maintaining and strengthening a free and open international economic order. First we will call for the swiftest possible implementation of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and TPP 11, and urge the US to contribute to establishing high-standard rules for trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. We will also strengthen our close and mutually beneficial relationships with other Asian nations, which are powerful driving forces in the global economy.

Moreover, we will make the utmost effort to ensure the success of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and Japan's bid to host Expo 2025 in Osaka-Kansai.

We look forward to your continuing support and cooperation.

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