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Executives' Comments  Speech by Chairman Building a Solid Path to an Economy with GDP of 600 Trillion Yen -- New Year Message from the Chairman of Keidanren --

January 1, 2017

Sadayuki Sakakibara
Chairman, Keidanren

Global political and economic prospects have become increasingly uncertain amid concerns over a surge of protectionism and the spread of nationalistic tendencies. Under these circumstances, Japan must take the lead in maintaining and enhancing free and open international economic systems, thereby driving growth in the global economy. Now is also the time for the Abe administration to capitalize on its political stability to squarely address painful reforms in areas such as social security systems, fiscal consolidation and regulation.

While strengthening partnerships with politics, Keidanren will take its own initiatives to end deflation and revitalize the economy, aiming to build a solid path to an economy with GDP of 600 trillion yen.

Firstly, we will work to implement the 10 Strategic Public-Private Joint Projects included in the Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016 adopted by the government. We will formulate a vision and propose specific measures for realizing "Society 5.0," which is a key pillar of the nation's growth strategy. As part of our efforts to stimulate consumption, we will also launch the Premium Friday campaign, which is intended to encourage workers to change their work styles and enjoy spending. Specific measures for other projects will also be worked out in the near future.

Secondly, we will address revitalization of regional economies. We will host economic discussions around the country to provide impetus for comprehensive regional strategies by local governments and regional economic organizations. Based on the Keidanren Action Program for Energizing Regional Economies, we will cooperate in boosting capacity for growth in regional economies by pursuing partnership agreements with regional economic organizations and promoting industries such as agriculture and tourism, among other initiatives.

Thirdly, we will actively engage in economic diplomacy. Through Keidanren USA, we will build relationships with the new administration and Congress to strengthen economic relations with the United States. As part of this process, we will continue to communicate the economic and strategic significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a view to effectuating it in the foreseeable future. With regard to Europe, we will urge the earliest possible conclusion of a Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and seek greater understanding of Japanese companies' concerns over Brexit. We will also pursue policy dialogue with public and private sector leaders in Asia to bolster close and mutually beneficial relationships.

Finally, we will strive to ensure the success of major events such as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games by providing support to rally the nation and create a nationwide legacy.

With your support, this year we are determined to continue doing our utmost to realize the economy and the society described in Keidanren's vision statement "Toward the Creation of a More Affluent and Vibrant Japan."

Executives' Comments