Interim Report of The Committee on New Business of Keidanren

Recommendations for Creating New Businesses:
Building an Economy and Society that Nurtures the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Chapter V : Creating A Self-Reliant Society That Will Breed Entrepreneurs

In the previous pages, we have discussed the measures necessary to start-up and develop new industries and businesses in Japan. However, the ultimate problem we must address is the reform of the Japanese people's traditional perceptions and attitudes. In order to create a new society brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, a number of major changes must be made, such as educational reform which focuses on developing creative individuals.

  1. Reform of The People's Perceptions:
  2. In the final analysis, it is people who sustain new industries and businesses. Even if the necessary mechanisms are put in place to accomplish this new society, business frontiers will not emerge in Japan unless people, as a whole, place a high value on entrepreneurship and are willing to seek new challenges without fear of failure.
    Japan's traditional mentality of believing that total equality is desirable and of placing great importance on harmony and stability within society, may provide commendable values to live by, but is hardly compatible with the free and vigorous market economy of today. People's value systems must change to accommodate the realities of today's society and begin to place importance on equal opportunity rather than on equal distribution of benefits. They must learn to place a high value on business success and above all else, must value the principles of individual responsibility and of rewarding individuals who take risks and succeed.

  3. Long-Term Educational Reform And Fostering Creative Individuals:
  4. Reforming people's values and perceptions is basically the task of the education system. And Japan's uniformly standardized and rigid education system must be reformed at all levels -- from primary, to middle, to high school levels. We must strive to foster creativity not only in the schools but in the home and in society in general, if we are to produce individuals who can become entrepreneurs in advanced science and technology. Furthermore, as a component of educational reform, we must provide opportunities for young people, on whose shoulders rests the future, to receive practical training that will enable them to develop the entrepreneurial spirit. While these goals cannot be accomplished overnight , we must begin to address them at once and continue to grapple with new problems as they arise.

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