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Executives' Comments  Press Conferences Chairman Nakanishi's Statements and Comments
at His Press Conference

May 7, 2019

Hike of US Punitive Tariffs on China

President Trump appears to be focusing on Section 301 tariffs. US-China trade talks are coming to the most important stage, and we will continue to monitor the situation. Raising US tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% would greatly affect trade. Some people seem to view such a hike as an effective form of pressure on China, but the impact would be huge.

US discussion of sanctions on China is wide-ranging. While businesses dealing with China have their own views, many people cannot ignore China's activities from the security viewpoint. China's stance has gradually changed. For example, it now declares clear support for free and open trade. I am concerned about whether this message has really got through to the US.

At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in late April, many top Chinese leaders spoke of China's support for free and open international trade. Also, they repeatedly stated that the Belt and Road Initiative is not hegemonic in intent. However, words alone may not allay suspicion. We will continue to closely follow trends in the US-China talks.

Almost a year has now passed since US-China trade friction started (the White House decided to impose additional tariffs based on Section 301 of the Trade Act on June 15, 2018, and they came into effect on July 6). During this time Japanese companies have not been defenceless. They have reviewed their supply chains. We must continue to carefully watch the situation and consider appropriate measures.

Japan-US Trade Agreement Talks

Japan would prefer to discuss the trade imbalance separately from the exchange rate, but the US wishes to discuss these two issues together. The US Chamber of Commerce and various other business groups are also stating their views on the talks, and it is important for Keidanren to communicate with them clearly through our own channels.

Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Policy on Timeframe
for Construction of Facilities for Measures against Acts of Terrorism

I have always regarded the policy requiring installation of Specialized Safety Facilities for major incidents within a specific timeframe (five years from the date installation plans are approved) as indicative of NRA thinking. In reality, delays in construction of the facilities have occurred due to various circumstances, and deciding how to deal with these is a matter for top management at each company affected.

Consumption Tax Rise

The rise in the consumption tax rate scheduled for October this year has been determined by law, and the Japanese government should implement it according to plan under any circumstances. The increase of tax rate may cause some economic fluctuation, but this can be dealt with by appropriate measures.

Lifetime Employment

Amid predictions of longer working lives, we have reached the limits of thinking about corporate operations and business activities in terms of lifetime employment. As the external environment changes, it is hard to assume that the business one first joins will continue forever. We are facing the reality that some jobs will disappear. In response, management and employees are both striving to achieve continuity of work through job-switching and seeking active roles within or outside the company. Stubbornly maintaining jobs in unprofitable businesses also creates unhappy situations for employees, and it is important for companies to swiftly and decisively develop new businesses.

Executives' Comments