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The Prime Minister in Action

New Economy Summit 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the New Economy Summit 2014 held in Tokyo.

The Prime Minister said in his address,

"One year has passed since I delivered my remarks at the reception last year.
Over this past year, the atmosphere surrounding Japan has transformed under the 'three arrows' policy.
We are now surely beginning to regain the spirit of taking on challenges that Japan had lost during the many years of prolonged deflation and economic stagnation.
Mr. Mikitani, as a member of the Industrial Competitiveness Council, and Mr. Kanemaru, as a member of the Regulatory Reform Council, have been lending us their strong support in planning my growth strategy, which is the 'third arrow.' Drawing upon everyone's wisdom, I will continue to undertake further reforms, including the reform of vested interests.
Last year, I received invaluable recommendations from everyone that also took into account the discussions at the previous New Economy Summit. Based on such recommendations, the Government identified innovation, and the creation of ventures and new businesses as a major pillar of the growth strategy. The Government also set itself the significant goal of promoting the restructuring of industries and raising the business startup rate and business closure rate to the 10 percent range on par with the United States and Europe. 
The Government is now executing a number of measures to realize this goal. For example, we will undertake regulatory reforms for the promotion of IT utilization. Revisions will be made to the Act on the Protection of Personal Information to facilitate the use of personal data, which is part of so-called “big data.” Furthermore, we will make use of individual identification numbers to offer paperless and one-stop procedures for public services, such as electricity, gas, and water, and also for motor vehicle registration.  
At the end of last month, the Government identified six zones, including the Tokyo area and Kansai area, to be designated as National Strategic Special Zones, which will serve as a breakthrough in the reform of vested interests. The system of special zones will finally swing into action. For example, Fukuoka City, one of the special zones, will become a center of regulatory reform in the area of employment, and drive forward the provision of support for ventures and business start-ups.
Additionally, the system of corporate taxes must be made to be competitive in the eyes of the international market.
From this April, the Government lowered the corporate tax rate by 2.4 percent. This year, we will embark on further corporate tax reforms.
In order to foster global human resources, the Government has decided to make English language examinations, such as TOEFL, a part of the civil service recruitment examination starting from FY2015.
Furthermore, the Government will take measures to enhance education programs that contribute to business startups.
We are already beginning to see promising signs. For example, last year, investment in venture funds increased six-fold from the previous year. I think we can say that the situation is definitely beginning to change.
There is no end to the reforms of the Abe administration. I am determined to fully mobilize an array of measures to further accelerate such developments.
I will work to create a society in which all people can have hope for tomorrow, people can strive to take on new challenges such as starting a business, and hardworking people are rewarded.
The central players are the entrepreneurs. Innovation will transform industrial structure, and it is precisely the entrepreneurial spirit of taking on challenges that will drive the restructuring of industries.
Let us all work together to create a Japan in which there is a ceaseless cycle of innovation and a continuous emergence of new world-leading industries.
Last but not least, I would like to conclude my remarks by expressing the hope that lively discussions will take place at the New Economy Summit 2014, and that this discussion will contribute significantly to the economic development of Japan and of the world."          


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