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Executives' Comments  Press Conferences Chairman Tokura's Statements and Comments
at His Press Conference Following the Keidanren Regular General Meeting

May 31, 2023

Politics and Business

Society today is in a state of polycrisis, where multiple challenges including climate change and economic security compound to create an even bigger crisis. Such issues cannot be resolved by politics or economics alone, and never has there been greater need for politics and business to cooperate. The sustainable capitalism that Keidanren aims to achieve aligns with the new form of capitalism advocated by Prime Minister Kishida. I hope that crucial policy issues will be addressed against a backdrop of political stability. The business community will continue to cooperate proactively with politics.

Diversity of Member Companies

(In response to a question about opening Keidanren's membership to foreign-affiliated companies when countries have different stances on economic security) Basically, Keidanren respects diversity. We already have many foreign-affiliated companies as members, and their numbers are likely to grow.

Keidanren prepares policy recommendations according to a process whereby diverse member companies—whether they be Japanese or foreign-affiliated—discuss matters thoroughly in committees and other forums. On topics that touch upon fine points of economic security, we are able to summarize Keidanren's fundamental stance and compile recommendations in an appropriate form.

Japan-Korea Economic Committee

Japan and South Korea are neighbors that share the universal values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and also face common challenges including economic security, birth rate decline, and aging societies. Decisive steps by President Yoon Suk Yeol have sparked greater opportunities to restore normal relations between Japan and Korea. The business communities of our two countries have seized these opportunities to move ahead with cooperation. In collaboration with the Japan-Korea Future Partnership Fund set up recently, the new Japan-Korea Economic Committee established today will promote exchange programs for young talent, strengthen semiconductor supply chains, and enhance cooperation on energy and food security.

Population Decline, Falling Birth Rate, and Aging Society

The biggest challenge currently facing Japan is the silent emergency of the falling birth rate. There are pressing issues to be overcome in implementing measures to surmount this challenge. One is wage rises that enable young people to marry and provide income levels sufficient for them to have children if they wish. Another is reform of social security systems oriented to all generations to eliminate younger generations' vague unease about the future. These are key issues for creating an ample middle class, and we will focus our energy on addressing them.

(In response to a question on the timeframe for measures to address birth rate decline) It will be essential to address these issues over a medium- to long-term timeframe of 10 or 20 years. However, birthrate decline is a pressing issue that must be addressed without delay. It will be vital to move forward with short-term measures at the same time as policies devised from a medium- to long-term perspective.

Executives' Comments