Keidanren head: Japan should accelerate growth strategy

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura speaks during the Yomiuri International Forum in Tokyo on Monday.

Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura urged the government to accelerate its growth strategy by emphasizing digitization and decarbonization, during his speech at the Yomiuri International Forum in Tokyo on Monday.

“Amid the ongoing low growth in this nation, growth must be prioritized,” the Japan Business Federation head said during the symposium hosted by the Yomiuri International Economic Society and The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s distribution policy is limited without an expansion of the economic pie,” said Tokura, who is also board chairman of Sumitomo Chemical Co.

“Excessive capitalism has caused widening disparity and ecological collapse,” he said in praising Kishida’s “new form of capitalism” policy. “The trend in the global economy is to correct these.”

Kishida’s policy, which aims to realize a “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution,” is “in line with Keidanren’s vision of sustainable capitalism,” Tokura added.

“The key is in the virtuous cycle,” he said. “There’s no point if the government does one or the other and the system doesn’t circulate.”

The prime minister has expressed hope that companies whose earnings have returned to pre-pandemic levels will put into effect a wage increase of over 3% for its workers during the shunto labor-management wage negotiations next spring.

“It is natural to distribute results to employees,” Tokura said. “Taking into consideration the business environment and solvency of individual companies, we would like to meet Prime Minister Kishida’s expectations where possible.”