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Policy Proposals  Comprehensive Strategy Keidanren Opens Up a New Era with Society 5.0 for SDGs Fiscal 2019 Keidanren's Policy

May 30, 2019

As a new imperial era has just started in Japan, it is time for the Japanese economy to establish a new foundation for stable growth. To seize this opportunity and contribute to stability and growth both in Japan and the global economy and society, Keidanren is addressing four key issues: promotion of growth strategy, pursuit of economic structural reforms, implementation of sustainable energy and environmental policies, and engagement in economic diplomacy.

The Society 5.0 concept is a key pillar in promotion of growth strategy. Digitalization is rapidly transforming the entire framework of the global economy as it sweeps the world. To realize hopeful society in the future, Keidanren is devoting its full capabilities to shifting Society 5.0 for SDGs into the implementation phase. With technological innovation as a base, Keidanren will lead reforms that harness imagination and creativity to realize a human-centric society. To this end, Keidanren will encourage the horizontal expansion of digital transformation across various sectors to achieve strong economic growth, improve standards of living, and facilitate efficient allocation of human resources, goods, and finance. By resolving social issues, Keidanren will also contribute to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. In doing so, Keidanren will encourage rejuvenation of industrial structures and act resolutely to establish a competitive environment that shields no sector and encourages new challenges regardless of business size.

In pursuit of economic structural reforms and to alleviate public uncertainty about the future, Keidanren will urge reform of the social security system and fiscal consolidation compatible with economic growth. By advocating regulatory and tax reforms that will help to reinvigorate corporate activity, Keidanren will take steps to make Japan the world's most business-friendly country.

In the energy sector, balancing energy security, economic efficiency, and environmental conservation without comprising safety (an approach dubbed "S+3E") is fundamental to people's way of life and the business environment. Meanwhile, the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the spread of ESG investment are prompting greater international concern over measures to address climate change. With a view to implementation of sustainable energy and environmental policies compatible with economic growth, Keidanren promotes fundamental reforms by expressing constructive opinions as well as encouraging voluntary initiatives.

Factors such as US-China trade friction, Brexit, and the North Korean issue continue to create high levels of uncertainty in the international situation. Leveraging benefits stemming from long-term political stability in Japan, Keidanren will pursue proactive engagement in economic diplomacy. In forums including the B7 and B20 summits, we present business community views on the importance of a free, open, and rule-based international economic order and contribute to maintaining and strengthening this order.

Keidanren will continue its efforts to revitalize the Tohoku region through steady implementation of post-earthquake reconstruction projects, and seek ways of bringing the country together to ensure the success of national events such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Kansai.

Guided by these aims, Keidanren will further enhance its communication and implementation capabilities, and engage with the policy issues listed below as it strives to create a vigorous economy and society.

Policy issues

1. Promotion of growth strategy: Action Plan for Implementation of Society 5.0 for SDGs

Reform of Business Sector
  1. (1) Realization of Society 5.0
    Key fields:
    (a) healthcare, (b) agriculture, (c) tourism, (d) logistics,
    (e) disaster prevention and mitigation, (f) finance, (g) education
  2. (2) Promotion of engagement in SDGs by companies
  3. (3) Building innovation ecosystems
  4. (4) Workstyle reform
  5. (5) Promotion of diversities including increased participation of women in the workplace
  6. (6) Realization of diverse working styles for senior employee and people with disabilities
Reform of Human Resources
  1. (7) Acceptance of foreign talents
  2. (8) Promotion of human resource development
Reform of Public Sector
  1. (9) Promotion of digital government
  2. (10) Regional revitalization
  3. (11) Enhancement of urban functions
Reform through Data and Technology
  1. (12) Promotion of data utilization
  2. (13) Ensuring free cross-border data flows
  3. (14) Reinforcement of cybersecurity
  4. (15) Encouraging innovation
  5. (16) Promotion of utilization of AI (artificial intelligence)
  6. (17) Stimulation of consumption

2. Pursuit of economic structural reforms

  1. (1) Fiscal consolidation
  2. (2) Social security system reform
  3. (3) Regulatory reform
  4. (4) Tax reform
  5. (5) Creation of an environment for realizing a family-friendly society
  6. (6) Reform of corporate law system and corporate governance, promotion of SDGs-related investment through constructive dialogue with investors

3. Implementation of sustainable energy and environmental policies

  1. (1) Promotion of energy policies that ensure S+3E balance
  2. (2) Implementation of environmental policies compatible with economic growth

4. Engagement in economic diplomacy

  1. (1) Maintenance and strengthening of a free, open, and rule-based international economic order
  2. (2) Strengthening relations with Japan's main economic partners
  3. (3) Promotion of overseas deployment of infrastructure systems

5. Success of national events

  1. (1) Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, etc.
  2. (2) 2025 World Expo Osaka, Kansai

6. Steady post-earthquake reconstruction and revitalization of the Tohoku region

Comprehensive Strategy