Skip to main content

Home >  News >  The Prime Minister in Action >  December 2014 >  Board of Councillors Meeting of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

The Prime Minister in Action

Board of Councillors Meeting of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

December 25, 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 a Board of Councillors Meeting of the Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), held in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister said in his address,
“In the recent election, I declared to the people that ‘this election will test whether we press forward on Abenomics or bring it to a halt,’ and was able to gain the strong support of the people. I also received great assistance from everyone gathered here today and I would like to once again offer my gratitude.
The economy will continue to be our highest priority, and I am determined to promote the three arrows of Abenomics even more boldly and with a greater sense of speed than before. In doing so, we will spread the warm winds of economic recovery to everyone throughout the country.
Yesterday, the Third Abe Cabinet was inaugurated. On Saturday, two days from now, we will swiftly decide on economic policies aimed at stimulating consumption and vitalizing local economies, and a comprehensive strategy for the vitalization of local economies. I have also instructed that the ruling parties’ policy guidelines for tax system reform in FY2015, which will pave the way toward growth-oriented corporate tax reform, be compiled by the end of the year. I intend to make revisions that are befitting the first fiscal year of such reforms.
In January of next year, we will formulate the supplementary budget and the FY2015 budget in rapid succession. During the ordinary Diet sessions at the beginning of next year, we will seek to swiftly pass these budgets, thereby meeting the expectations of the people that we will move forward with the Growth Strategy. Furthermore, we will submit bills that reform vested interests with even more fervor, in areas such as agriculture, medical care, employment, and energy. There is no way that we will go back on these reforms or that these reforms will become watered-down. Even in the case of the bill to amend the Act on National Strategic Special Zones, which was not adopted in the recent extraordinary session of the Diet, we will add even bolder items to the reform agenda and submit it in the regular session of the Diet.
Ever since the Abe Cabinet came into power, companies have achieved record-high operating income levels. Household financial assets have also increased by 140 trillion yen. The number of people employed increased by one million. Furthermore, from July to September of this year, we saw the number of people employed under regular employment contracts increase by 100,000, which was a task we had set ourselves. The number of corporate bankruptcies decreased by approximately 20 percent, reaching its lowest level in 24 years. In addition, we are beginning to see the return of domestic investment, which had once shifted overseas due to the excessively high yen. I would like to urge the business community to have confidence in the bright economy that lies ahead of us and act accordingly. Keep making investments in Japan.
Following the election, a government-labor-management meeting was convened immediately. At the meeting, I asked the business community to increase wages next spring. The members of the business community agreed to exert their full efforts to increase wages and to implement price increases for subcontractor companies facing sharply rising raw material prices. Chair Sakakibara addressed the challenging issues from a broad perspective and played an active part in reaching the agreement among the business community. I would like to express my gratitude to Chair Sakakibara. I believe the government, the workforce, and employers were able to establish a clear roadmap for ensuring the second revolution of the positive cycle. I hope you will take tangible actions based on the government-labor-management agreement. In particular, I ask that companies that have achieved high profits as a result of the advantages of the weak yen show consideration in regard to the prices paid to subcontractor companies, as well as to wage rises and capital investment.
In the process of creating a positive cycle of the economy and exiting from a deflationary economy, we will increase tax revenue and review expenditures, treating no area as sacred or off-limits, including social security. There is absolutely no change to our policy of making sure that we achieve both economic growth and fiscal soundness. We stick by our rigorous target of achieving primary surplus by FY2020. I promise to you that by next summer, we will steadily develop a concrete plan for the realization of this goal.
Abenomics will only be complete when we are able to bring the warm winds of economic recovery to the regional economies, which are still facing serious conditions, as well as to those working for SMEs and small businesses. Job creation in regional economies is the key to creating vibrant local economies under the new comprehensive strategy. By relocating head office functions and creating a new flow of people to regional economies, we will establish a positive cycle between work and people, which will restore vitality to supporting towns. I would like to ask everyone to take proactive actions to create jobs in rural economies and increase the flow of people to local economies.
Realizing a society in which all women shine is the biggest challenge of my growth strategy. I will hold aloft the banner and pursue this goal persistently. I consider it extremely significant that this month, many companies voluntarily prepared and released actions plans outlining specific targets, taking into account the Action Plan on Women’s Active Participation in the Workforce that Keidanren prepared. I highly praise their initiative. Regrettably, the bill on promoting active participation by women was withdrawn during the last extraordinary session of the Diet. My goal is to have this bill passed at an early stage during next year’s ordinary session of the Diet. I would like to once again thank you for your tremendous cooperation in the compilation of this bill. At the same time, I ask that you build on the momentum of this legislation to foster and employ women even more actively.
In closing, I would like to renew my promise to you that the Cabinet will work as one to deliver on our promises and advance towards the realization of policies, drawing much strength from the people telling us to ‘proceed resolutely down this path.’ Thank you very much.”

Page Top

Related Link