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

June 7, 2021

One Week after Assuming the Office of Keidanren Chairman

Keidanren must be an organization that has the support and backing of society. I want to work hard to send out information and undertake dialogue with the community to ensure that Keidanren and its activities are properly understood. Our activities will contribute to solutions to social issues from a social point of view.

Workplace COVID-19 Vaccination

Moves are accelerating to progress the vaccination rollout without interruption throughout the whole of Japan, and Keidanren is also promoting those efforts. When we held an information session about workplace vaccination for our members#1 (June 4), more than 1,700 people attended online, and lively discussions ensued. We have passed on the doubts and concerns expressed by the attendees to the government, and we hope to see them reflected in the measures taken. Many companies are enthusiastic about workplace vaccination, including making use of their in-house clinics and industrial physicians and offering spaces for vaccination venues.

#1  1,470 companies and 189 organizations (as of June 7)

Vaccination Passports

Vaccination passports will be an effective tool not only as a border control measure when entering and exiting the country, but also in reinvigorating economic activity within Japan. For this reason, I hope to see them introduced quickly. On the other hand, ample consideration needs to be given to prevent discrimination against people who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated.

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

In holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, everything possible must be done to ensure safety and peace of mind. Exhaustive measures must be put in place to protect athletes, Games officials, and spectators from COVID-19 and to ensure that the virus does not spread in Japan and that visitors from overseas do not take it home with them.

Appropriate decisions regarding the format in which the Games will be held and other details will be made in light of various factors in the five-party discussions between the Games Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), so we will wait and see what direction those discussions take.

G7 Finance Ministers Meeting (June 4-5)

A digital tax system is in line with the times, and I commend the joint statement of the Finance Minister Meeting that endorsed discussion aimed at reaching an international consensus on such a system. The introduction of a minimum tax rate will curb the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation and help to avoid the hollowing-out of industry. I look forward to an agreement being reached at the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting (scheduled for July 9-10). I hope that, in terms of the relationship with existing systems, any new system will be simple and not add extra administrative burden.

Japan-South Korea Relations

[In response to a question about the Seoul Central District Court's dismissal of a wartime labor compensation lawsuit brought by former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula against Japanese companies] I would prefer not to comment on the court's ruling.

If seized assets were to be forcibly sold off and liquidated, the relationship between Japan and South Korea would likely plunge into an extremely sticky situation. We want the Japanese government to keep pressing to ensure that this does not happen, and we also hope for appropriate action from the South Korean side.

Japan and South Korea are neighboring countries with a long history of exchange. Our two nations share the universal values of freedom, democracy, rule of law, and human rights, and both play important roles in East Asia. The basis of our bilateral relationship is the Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration: A New Japan-Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century (1998). I hope that our two nations can return to that starting point and build a relationship that looks to the future, not only in business, but in all areas, including cultural exchange. Keidanren, too, will spare no effort toward that goal.

Executives' Comments