1. Top
  2. Executives' Comments
  3. Press Conferences
  4. Chairman Nakanishi's Statements and Comments at His Press Conference

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

May 11, 2020

Digital Transformation

Keidanren's proposal, "Digital Transformation (DX)—Opening up the Future Through Co-Creation of Values—" was deliberated and approved at the meeting of the chairman and vice chairmen today, so I would like to announce it at this press conference.

DX holds the key to realizing Society 5.0, but this does not simply mean the promotion of digitization. It is the co-creation of new values through a combination of the imagination and creativity of diverse individuals. It is not a simple matter of manufacturing good products that sell well in the market. The important thing is to create values together with clients and other companies. It also requires change in the mentality and views of industries, organizations, and workers in the frontline of industry. The bottlenecks of digitization that became apparent with the declaration of state of emergency need to be eliminated. Japan's DX is the "realization of citizens' values through co-creation by diverse entities."

The proposal presents concepts on the essential elements for the co-creation of new values, such as management that determines the overall direction of the organization; the human resources model for the promotion of DX; the concrete organizational structure and culture that need to be established; and building the data and systemic technological infrastructure. An increasing number of Japanese companies implementing DX to move toward co-creation will accelerate the overall progress of DX in Japan. The "Airpost" project launched by Toppan Forms and seven financial institutions was announced today. We would like to build momentum for co-creation through the implementation of actual projects.

Lifting of State of Emergency

The government's basic position is that it will be possible to resume economic activities gradually if the novel coronavirus epidemic can be controlled at a certain level through the citizens' avoidance of Three Cs (closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places, and close-contact settings such as close-range conversations), hand washing, wearing face masks, and thorough observation of other infection prevention measures. Its responses are based on this position. It is a matter of course that economic activities can resume in areas showing a decline in the number of infections. I have no problem with that.

For sure, lifting the state of emergency should be premised on taking effective preventive measures until vaccines and medicines are developed. This does not mean abrupt lifting once the designated conditions are met. If we neglect preventive measures, the epidemic may rekindle and we may see another outbreak. It is absolutely necessary to maintain the medical services systems, and we would like to think of the necessary measures. For this reason, we must not lower our vigilance for now.

Additional Economic Stimulation Measures

This issue should be discussed on the assumption that the novel coronavirus crisis may become protracted. It is not realistic for the government to provide unlimited support just because this is a state of emergency. We ask the government to act speedily as necessary, but at the same time, manage policy in preparation for a protracted battle.

Guidelines on the Prevention of Novel Coronavirus Infection

The Guidelines aim to present concrete ways to maintain economic activities while reducing personal contacts by 80%. While there is talk of four-day work weeks for factory workers, this is but one example of the various measures that companies are trying out. The Guidelines Keidanren will announce shortly are not compulsory for all companies.

Start of Schoolyear in September

Keidanren basically does not object to universities starting their schoolyear in September since universities in the Western countries start in September and it is necessary to foster global talents. However, numerous issues need to be discussed first with regard to expanding the scope to include elementary, middle, and other schools. These need to be discussed in-depth and decided by the parties concerned.

On the other hand, Japanese educational institutions are way behind other countries in digitization. Discussions on building systems for online learning, including the preparation of contents, should take priority.

Revised Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act

With the revised law, the Japanese government will now have the power to reject the acquisition of Japanese companies by companies of non-like-minded countries. Balancing between the two vital policy goals of national security and encouragement of foreign investments is an extremely difficult issue. Keidanren also participated in the deliberation on the legal revision and its opinion was incorporated. It is necessary to closely watch the implementation of this law from now on to ensure that investments in Japan will not be impeded.

Executives' Comments