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

December 19, 2022

Looking Back on 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine shook the foundations of the international economic order, highlighting energy security and food security issues. Other unresolved challenges became distinct, including climate change and accompanying ecosystem breakdown, as well as responses to emerging infectious diseases. Next year, I would like to make steady progress toward resolving these problems. Keidanren has been able to contribute significantly to areas such as promoting green transformation (GX) and fostering start-ups. I am proud of our success in having Keidanren priorities and proposals reflected in many government policies through participation in government meetings and other advocacy activities. Moving forward, focus should be placed on realizing a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution. As well as promoting domestic investment, especially in plant and equipment, Japan should bulk up its middle class as quickly as possible by investing in people.

Bank of Japan Monetary Policy

Extensive monetary easing has brought an end to deflation. Although the government has taken supply-side measures such as growth strategy and stimulated corporate investment appetite, in reality overseas investment predominated, and domestic investment did not rise greatly. As a result, generation of effective demand and improvement of productivity have shamefully not reached the levels hoped for. However, opportunities currently abound for capital expenditure to achieve GX and carbon neutrality by 2050 as well as investment in people, presenting a rare chance to promote domestic investment.

(In response to a question about the revision of policy coordination (Joint Statement) by the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to overcome deflation and achieve sustainable economic growth) The Joint Statement specifies that macroeconomic policies including monetary policy will be regularly reviewed. Amid ongoing inflation in Japan, albeit the cost-push type, it will remain essential for the government and the BOJ to have a shared perception of appropriate monetary policies to achieve the price stability target and coordinate implementation, and the two parties need to thoroughly discuss these matters.

Revenue Sources for Increased Defense Spending

I have long emphasized that since the entire population of Japan benefits from security and defense, it is appropriate that revenue sources to strengthen defense should also be spread thinly, broadly, and equitably across society as a whole. As corporate citizens, companies are fully prepared to shoulder a portion of the cost, but as a result, the burden of taxation will tilt somewhat towards corporate tax. In addition, considering the exemption for SMEs, I have the impression that much of the burden will fall on large corporations. A higher tax burden for companies will be painful, but we have no intention of abandoning domestic investment and wage rises. I urge the government to provide strong and continual policy support.

Takeshi Niinami, Next Chairman of Keizai Doyukai
(Japan Association of Corporate Executives)

(In response to a question on the provisional appointment of Takeshi Niinami as the next chairman of Keizai Doyukai) Mr. Niinami is a splendid, outstanding manager who took leadership of Lawson and Suntory at a young age. He is a private-sector member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, where I join him in discussion. In Keidanren, he has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Councillors and continues to act as Chair of the Committee on Tourism. I have high hopes for his strong capabilities in making recommendations and communicating. Japan faces a host of internal and external challenges, and stands at a crucial juncture. Keidanren will continue to cooperate closely with Keizai Doyukai and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to make progress on resolving these issues.

Kanji for the Year

The power of justice is required to prevent unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force. For this reason, policies that unite the three elements of economy, security, and diplomacy are essential, and enhancing defensive power is part of such policies. Furthermore, science is a powerful force for overcoming COVID-19 and unknown infections that may confront us in the future, for example through mRNA vaccines. Therefore, I would like to make the kanji 力, meaning "power" or "force", my kanji for 2022.

Executives' Comments