Executives' Comments Press Conferences
Chairman Tokura's Statements and Comments
at His Press Conference Following the Keidanren Regular General Meeting
- Emergency Proposal Concerning COVID-19 Vaccination
- Workplace Vaccination
- Building Sustainable Capitalism
- Keidanren Carbon Neutrality Action Plan
- Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
- Vision for Keidanren
It was my honor to be elected Chairman at today's General Assembly. I am sobered by the grave responsibility of the position and resolve to devote all my efforts to the fulfillment of my duties. The first thing I want to do is to engage wholeheartedly in efforts to achieve the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in balance with economic activity, with the aim of bringing the pandemic under control as soon as possible.
Based on the three pillars of (1) social good, (2) international cooperation, and (3) digital and green, I will pursue initiatives to realize Society 5.0 for SDGs and to build sustainable capitalism. Under our new executive leadership team that began today, I will work closely and cooperate with the 19 Vice Chairs and our members.
With the aim of making Keidanren an organization that responds to the demands of our multiple stakeholders and is supported widely by all sectors of the Japanese public and by society as a whole, I hope to build constructive, interactive communication with the media.
Emergency Proposal Concerning COVID-19 Vaccination
At today's Board of Directors meeting, we put together an emergency proposal regarding vaccinations against COVID-19, which we will make public.
The fact that vaccinations are proceeding well under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Suga is highly commendable. We would ask the government to set a clear target of completing the vaccination of 70-80% of the Japanese population and achieve herd immunity by this winter and, while backcasting from that target, draw up a more concrete roadmap to achieve it.
The vaccination program must be progressed without any interruptions, and the business community will spare nothing in its cooperation. In addition to conducting workplace vaccination and establishing proper working environments, we will continue with initiatives to speed up the vaccine roll-out, such as sending out industrial physicians and nurses and providing vaccination venues. In anticipation of a world in which progress has been made in vaccination and social and economic activity has returned to normal, we encourage the government to issue and make use of vaccine passports. In this regard, naturally, efforts should be made to ensure that there is no discrimination or prejudice against people who have not yet been vaccinated in the workplace.
[In response to a question about workplace vaccination commencing on June 21] Different companies have varying circumstances, so the state of cooperation of our member corporations will also vary. What is important is that we establish herd immunity before winter arrives, and Keidanren will expedite its own efforts toward that end.
Building Sustainable Capitalism
In recent years, due to a combination of neo-liberalism, market fundamentalism, and globalism, disparity has become wider and more fixed and is starting to be reproduced. Moreover, the destruction of ecosystems is progressing due to climate change, and problems such as the emergence of new infectious diseases are occurring. At this point, we need to pause for a moment and aim for sustainable capitalism, and corporations must act at all times with a social point of view.
Toward the construction of sustainable capitalism, the first thing we must focus our efforts on is Society 5.0 for SDGs. Through digital transformation (DX), we hope to realize an all-inclusive society in which diverse values are respected and nobody is left behind. The second thing is the response to climate change. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Earth is screaming in the face of excessive capitalism. Preserving sustainable ecosystems for future generations is our duty. It will take 15 to 20 years to establish the new elemental technologies that are needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. There is no time to waste, and we must start now.
Keidanren Carbon Neutrality Action Plan
The Suga government and Keidanren are united in the policy goal of making Japan carbon neutral by 2050. With the cooperation of 62 industry organizations, Keidanren has pursued its Commitment to a Low Carbon Society, which has resulted in a steady reduction in CO2 emissions. To strengthen those efforts even further, Keidanren has decided to formulate and implement Carbon Neutrality Action Plan.
Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics
The Olympics and Paralympics are important in a variety of intangible ways. However, in holding them, it will be essential to ensure the safety and peace of mind of the athletes, spectators, and Games officials.
Vision for Keidanren
Keidanren's roles change to meet the changing demands of the times. Corporations are members of civic society and global citizens, and Keidanren must be an advocate for the benefit of the whole of society. To this end, we will strengthen our collaboration with various stakeholders, including startup companies and local communities.