Executives' Comments  Speech by Chairman   Building the Society of the Future through Sustainable Capitalism -- New Year Message from the Chairman of Keidanren --

(Provisional Translation)
Masakazu TOKURA
Chairman, Keidanren

Half a year has passed since I became Chairman on June 1 last year. During this time, my top priority has been to find a balance between overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring vitality to economic and social activities at the same time. Alongside this, while carrying on the policies advocated by former Chairman Mr. Hiroaki Nakanishi, including Society 5.0 for SDGs and "Sustainable Capitalism", I have worked with a sense of urgency to further develop those policies, by incorporating perspectives "from the social point of view" into the market economy.

The "Sustainable Capitalism" endorsed by Keidanren has much in common with the "new form of capitalism" that is one of the aims of the Kishida cabinet. Prime Minister Kishida has made it clear since taking office in October last year that realizing a new form of capitalism will be a major focus for his government. Two concepts at the heart of these efforts are achieving a "virtuous cycle of growth and distribution" and "developing a new post-COVID-19 society."

At the Council of New Form of Capitalism Realization chaired by the prime minister, I emphasized that distribution and growth should be discussed as a set, and that growth should be the first priority. One challenge that must be addressed in this context is the need to build "social common capital". This will include improving Japan's crisis management capabilities, which was seen as a problem during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I also pointed out that the government has an important role to play in this regard, since these are issues that cannot be solved by the market economy alone. In addition, since a sustainable global environment will be essential to achieving a new form of capitalism, I have repeatedly underlined the need for the government as a whole to discuss a green transformation (GX) alongside and in parallel with the digital transformation (DX).

In addition to the GX and DX, we must work energetically to address the numerous important policy challenges we face at home and abroad, including start-up promotion, regulatory reforms, regional revitalization, work style reforms and human resources development, cooperation and coordination with the international community, fiscal soundness in public finance, and reforms to achieve a sustainable social security system oriented to all generations.

Driven by our conviction and determination that companies have an indispensable role to play in driving growth and distribution, Keidanren will continue to join forces with the Kishida cabinet in 2022, to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve "Sustainable Capitalism", and thereby build a sustainable and prosperous society for the future. I would very much appreciate your continued support and cooperation in the year ahead.