- Society 5.0
- Spring labor-management wage dialogues
- The Issue with the Japan Investment Corporation
- Global warming
- Executive compensation and its disclosure
In the half-year since I assumed my post as Chairman, I have put together various proposals on Society 5.0 and worked to bring them to implementation. We have taken a major step toward a transformation in industrial structure.
I drew a significant reaction with my comments on problems associated with job-hunting rules. I am aware that the issues have to do more with working styles than with rules related to recruitment. As the business world undergoes major change, it has grown increasingly important to break free of our traditional industrial structure and approaches to work, harness our wisdom, and generate added value. How Keidanren should deal with the changes in industrial structure is a major challenge for us. In the era ahead, corporations will have an important mission to make contributions to society and the planet.
Spring labor-management wage dialogues
The government and the private business community share the same basic position on the importance of sustaining the momentum for wage increases. It is not that businesses are raising wages simply because the government said to do so. We need to boost wages when the business cycle is trending up. We know the government respects the basic principle of wage determination: namely, that wages are set through negotiations between corporate management and labor.
The Issue with the Japan Investment Corporation
Japan's industrial sector has not shown much progress toward structural changes. We can understand why the government is accordingly trying to leverage that process with investment funding. Hopes had been pinned on the Japan Investment Corporation as an organization that would promote investments in new businesses.
However, differences over JIC's governance surfaced between the government and its outgoing management, and that gap was never closed. Both sides should have tried a bit harder to reach a compromise, but I can understand their respective positions. It is regrettable that the dispute ended with the resignation of all of the top executives from the private sector.
With current technology, Japan likely will not be able to meet its reduction targets under the Paris Agreement without some reliance on nuclear power. If we expect to achieve major reductions over the longer term, it is objectively clear that we will have to replace existing nuclear power plants and build additional plants as well. On the other hand, we will not make much progress on nuclear power without public understanding and acceptance. I realize this is a tough issue but I am hopeful the government will continue to play a guiding role from a comprehensive perspective.
Executive compensation and its disclosure
By Japanese executive standards, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn's compensation was off the charts, but by European and US standards it was probably closer to the norm. It is questionable whether Japanese society can accept the high levels of executive pay that seem prevalent in western countries.
Public opinion is shifting toward the view that executive compensation should also be subject to disclosure in Japan. However, questions remain regarding certain specifics such as the methods and scope of disclosure.