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

January 12, 2021

State of Health and This Year's Resolutions

My treatment is going well. The tumor has disappeared, and I am in the final stages of treatment.

Keidanren will embark on a vigorous course of action toward new economic growth for Japan while combatting COVID-19.

State of Emergency Declaration

The renewed declaration of a state of emergency is not a good thing for the Japanese economy, but the straits are extremely dire, with the sharp rise in positive cases of COVID-19 and our healthcare system on the brink of collapse, so it is an unavoidable measure.

In addition to complying with the government's requests, such as reducing the number of workers attending the workplace by 70%, the business community will do everything that it can do. This is a time when every individual must do what needs to be done, which includes refraining from dining in groups. Regarding the request in the new declaration for restaurants and bars to close at 8:00 p.m., as long as the government's policy of providing proper compensation is followed, there should be debate about giving some degree of enforceability. I would ask the Government and the governors to work together closely to determine what needs to be done to avoid the collapse of the healthcare system and return things to normal as soon as possible.

{When asked about criticism of the policies of the government's blanket request for all dining and drinking establishments to close early and providing a uniform cash subsidy} I understand that if every establishment's individual circumstances were to be considered, it would be impossible to achieve from a practical standpoint. I am fully cognizant of the fact that [these establishments] are in extremely difficult circumstances. To curb transmission of the virus and prevent the collapse of the healthcare system, this action is likely unavoidable.

Spring Labor-Management Negotiations

The fact that Japan's income levels are ranked quite low among the OECD nations is a major problem, and we need to share recognition of that fact. It is important that we become a country of high income levels, increase consumption, and reinvigorate our economy. From these kinds of perspectives as well, it is important to maintain wage rise momentum, but this is not a problem that can be solved by the spring labor-management negotiations alone. Moreover, given the current state of the economy, I imagine there are few corporations and industries that would be able to lift wages.

Government's Approach to Remote Work

Among the central government ministries and agencies, in particular those departments responsible for policy, they sometimes need to respond instantaneously to directions from the Minister or others, so I understand that there are some practical aspects that would make it difficult to implement remote work thoroughly.

Pressure on Power Supply

In the composition of Japan's electric power sources, we remain dependent on thermal power generation for about 80% of our power needs, with LNG accounting for a significant proportion. It is under these circumstances that a severe cold wave occurred, and I see a need to review our energy portfolio and take other action.

Executives' Comments