Keidanren Chair Talks Criteria for His Successor, Tackling Worker Shortage

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura speaks to the press in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Masakazu Tokura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), has spoken to the press about wage hikes and the appointment of his successor.


Press: With the largest wage hikes in about 30 years and changes to Bank of Japan policy, the situation surrounding Japan’s economy is changing.

Tokura: Viewing it as our social responsibility, Keidanren called for momentum on wages hikes to be maintained or increased, and we achieved wage hikes that surpassed those of last year, which was a historic high. However, to achieve wage hikes structurally, it is important for small and midsize companies, which employ 70% of the workforce, to increase wages. We continue to call for fairer business dealings.

Press: How will you deal with the shortage of workers?

Tokura: We will establish a new committee for policy on foreigners. To strengthen industrial competitiveness, it is essential to develop an environment where capable foreigners choose Japan and play an active part.

While the yen is weak and salaries are not high, we want to look at concrete policies that will make people from overseas choose to work in Japan.

Press: You have a year left in your term. Who will be chosen as the next chairperson?

Tokura: Compared to the past, Keidanren is now more aware of the need to contribute to solving social problems, and to contribute to society as a whole. We would like to choose someone who looks not just at industrial policy, but at the big picture for both society and the economy as a whole.