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Executives' Comments  Speech by Chairman Practicing Sustainable Capitalism to Resolve Social Issues and Achieve Economic Growth -- New Year Message from the Chairman of Keidanren --

(Provisional Translation)
Masakazu TOKURA
Chairman, Keidanren

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that started in February last year shows no signs of coming to an end, and continues to shake the foundations of the international order. The resulting global sharp rise in resource and food prices has highlighted the major challenge for Japan of ensuring energy and food security.

These challenging conditions, however, only make it more important than ever to "practice sustainable capitalism", the policy set forth by Keidanren. We are determined to redouble our efforts this year to achieve solutions to social issues and to realize sustainable economic growth.

To make sustainable economic growth a reality, an increase in both investment and consumption will be essential. The business community will do its utmost to revitalize domestic investment within Japan and to maintain and strengthen the momentum toward wage increases.

It hardly needs to be said that green transformation (GX) and digital transformation (DX) will be pillars of domestic investment strategies. In particular, GX not only offers solutions to the serious social challenge of climate change, but will also be the key growth strategy to produce vigorous domestic investment, as well as being vitally important for energy security. Investment in science, technology, and innovation will also be essential, particularly in such fields as nuclear energy including nuclear fusion, and quantum, AI, biotechnology, and materials. We must also continue to focus on the promotion of start-ups and the creative, bio, and mobility-related industries that promise to drive new growth. We want to make Japanese industry more competitive by transitioning to a more dynamic industrial structure.

At the same time, creating a substantial middle class is another priority for Keidanren. In addition to structural wage increases, this will require investment in people and greater labor mobility, as well as revisions to tax and social security systems to ensure that people can live and work with peace of mind. As well as helping to eliminate social disparities, creating a substantial middle class will also help to achieve economic growth through increased consumption.

In addition, with the response to COVID-19 still ongoing, and in the midst of an uncertain international climate, building a free and open international economic order is also an urgent issue. In the face of this accumulated mass of challenges, there is no time for a moment’s delay. Working alongside the Kishida cabinet, Keidanren will continue to do our utmost to find solutions to social issues and achieve sustainable economic growth. We ask for your continued support and cooperation.

Executives' Comments