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

January 10, 2023

2023 Report of the Special Committee on Management and Labor Policy

Keidanren will soon release the 2023 Report of the Special Committee on Management and Labor Policy. In the aim of achieving a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution, the report will firmly advocate not only wage increases, but also further promotion of work style reforms, more widespread diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, smooth flow of labor into growth sectors, and enhancement of worker engagement and employability.

On the topic of wages, I would like to emphasize that this is an ideal opportunity for a switch to corporate conduct that aims for structural wage increases by promoting an end to deflation and investment in people. Keidanren has long called for decisions to be based on fundamental principles on deciding wages. These fundamental principles include consideration of various factors. In this year's spring labor-management negotiations, while positioning price trends as the top priority among factors to be considered, Keidanren will widely urge its member companies and other employers to increase wages sustainably as part of their corporate social responsibilities.

To foster opportunities for wage increases nationwide, the momentum for such increases needs to spread to SMEs, which employ around 70% of workers. It is essential to improve SME productivity and increase added value by means such as rigorously promoting fair and appropriate transactions and supporting digital transformation. To encourage appropriate price pass-through, the heads of Keidanren, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) will shortly issue a joint request to their respective member companies asking them to participate in, and steadily implement, the Declaration of Partnership Building initiative.

(In response to a question on the 4.0% rise in the Tokyo consumer price index compared to the same month of the previous year) Rather than reacting to individual statistics, I would like to urge employers to carefully examine the price situation in fiscal 2022 and the outlook for fiscal 2023, and implement wage increases that keep pace with the high cost of living and are not temporary in nature.

Measures to Address Birth Rate Decline

(In response to a question about thoughts on Prime Minister Kishida's announcement that "unprecedented measures" would be taken to address the declining birth rate) The Prime Minister's use of the phrase "unprecedented measures" gives me a clear sense of his resolve to do everything in his power to address the declining birth rate. Japan currently faces two emergencies. One is the issue of security, and the other is the silent emergency of birth rate decline. A low birth rate has huge impacts on social and economic structures, and firm steps must be taken to address it. Forming a substantial middle class is a key theme for Keidanren, and we will of course continue to focus on social security issues.

(In response to a question regarding sources of revenue for addressing birth rate decline) Japan's fiscal situation should essentially be discussed based on the content and timing of policy measures. The fundamental approach is to spread the burden thinly and broadly across society and the country as a whole.

Executives' Comments