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The Prime Minister in Action

Annual Meeting of the National Association of Shinkin Banks

June 21, 2017

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

 [Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Shinkin Banks (cooperative regional financial institutions) held in Tokyo.

The Prime Minister said in his address,

“Thank you very much for inviting me to the annual meeting of the National Association of Shinkin Banks today.

I am very pleased that this annual meeting is being held with such grandeur.

It has been ten years since the Prime Minister first began to continuously attend this annual meeting. I was the Prime Minister ten years ago.

Since then, the Prime Minister has attended every annual meeting without exception, and I would like to take a little credit for this.

I would like to offer a few remarks upon the holding of this annual meeting.

Through your accurate responses to the needs of local small and medium-sized enterprises and residents every day, the shinkin banks play an important role as dependable financial institutions in each of your communities.

Moreover, I am aware that, in regard to recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, you continue to support non-profit organizations (NPOs) and others that address the emotional well-being of those affected. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.

The Abe Cabinet has advanced the initiatives of the three arrows of Abenomics, aiming for the realization of an exit from deflation and a strong economy. The current GDP and corporate earnings are at record highs. Employment has also improved greatly.

In regard to regional economies, prefectural corporation-related tax revenues have grown over the past five years by nearly 40%, and are increasing in all 47 prefectures. The ratio of job offers to job seekers is also at an extremely high level, exceeding that of the economic bubble era, and for the first time in history has reached 1.0 or above in all of the prefectures.

We will further strengthen this trend and realize the sustainable growth of the regions. To that end, we will continue to advance initiatives for vitalizing local economies.

The regions of Japan are blessed with the charms of abundant nature, unique history and culture, and agricultural, forestry, and fishery products particular to each region.

Vitalizing local economies is an endeavor to take advantage of each of these diverse charms to create highly distinctive regions that attract young people.

In this endeavor, the shinkin banks, which carry out activities closely linked to each region and have a good understanding of local economic and industrial conditions, play a large role.

Various initiatives centered on the shinkin banks are already being advanced. For example, to ensure the continued existence of a tea plantation with a 300-year tradition which cultivates tea, an important regional resource for a town with a population of 10,000 people, Tanyo Shinkin Ban has developed a sustainable business model with the assistance of a local university and supports the expansion of sales channels. Kawasaki Shinkin Bank, aware of the risks of the decrease in small and medium-sized manufacturers which support the regions, holds intellectual property meetings and supports business matching so that small and medium-sized enterprises can use the patent rights currently possessed by major corporations to develop new products.

For the regional economy-based shinkin banks, proactive support of regional companies and industries connects directly to stable profit and customer bases. I hope that you will all continue these initiatives.

Today, following this meeting, we will hold the second meeting of the Council on the Promotion of the National Movement to Improve Productivity. The top management issue is overcoming personnel shortages through economic recovery. The Government will undertake the movement to improve the productivity of small regional businesses and service industries, and I would like the shinkin banks to carry out powerful initiatives.

Finally, I would like to conclude my remarks by offering my heartfelt wishes for the further prosperity and development of the National Association of Shinkin Banks, its members, and all those in attendance here today.”

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