The Economic Strategy Council

On the Economic Strategy Council

The Economic Strategy Council was inaugurated on August 24, 1998, as an advisory board to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. The mission of the council is to discuss and propose visions for reviving the Japanese economy and for building a prosperous economic society in the 21st century. The council is composed of ten members. At the first meeting, I was elected Chairman, and Mr. Iwao Nakatani was nominated Deputy Chairman. Prime Minister Obuchi asked the council for advice on how to revive the Japanese economy and how to build a prosperous economic society in the 21st century. In the response to this request, the council started its activities immediately. We will make our best efforts to stimulate frequent and intense discussion.

We welcome thoughtful proposals from people to be reflected in our discussions.

Mr. Junichi Miyake, Deputy Chairman of Japan Research Institute Ltd., was appointed Secretary General to serve the council.

Hirotaro Higuchi
The Economic Strategy Council

The Members of the Economic Strategy Council
Hirotaro Higuchi

Chairman of the Board

Asahi Breweries, Ltd.
Deputy Chairman
Iwao Nakatani


Faculty of Commerces
Hitotsubashi University
Masataka IdeChairman of the Board of DirectorsWest Japan Railway Company
Motoshige ItohProfessorFaculty of Economics
University of Tokyo
Minoru MoriPresident and Chief Executive OfficerMori Building Co., Ltd.
Hiroshi OkudaPresidentToyota Motor Corporation
Toshifumi SuzukiPresident and Chief Executive ChairmanIto-Yokado Co., Ltd.
Heizo TakenakaProfessorFaculty of Policy Management
Keio University
Sawako TakeuchiAssociate ProfessorThe Graduate School of Engineering
University of Tokyo
Chiyono TeradaPresidentArt Corporation
(appointed August 24,1998)

Agenda for the Economic Strategy Council of Japan to the Prime Minister Decided on September 10,1998

1 Underlying Problems of the Japanese Economy
(1) Bad loan problems and asset deflation
(2) Vigorless local economies
(3) Inefficiency and non-transparency in the public sector
(4) Lack of entrepreneurship
(5) Weakening consumer sentiment (loss of confidence in the future)

2 Road-map for Economic Recovery

3 Economic Package in the Short-run
(1) Efforts for early settlement of bad loan disposal
(2) Implementation of economic measures bearing significant impacts in the short-term
(3) Review of public investment projects

4 Medium-term Policies
(1) Urban and housing
(2) Desirable financial system
(3) Principal building plan of information infrastructure
(4) Environmental strategy

5 Direction of the Structural Reform : fostering a competition oriented society
(1) Fundamental reform of the public sector (examination of the traditional role played by the public sector)
(2) Policies to ensure autonomy for local authorities
(3) Fiscal structural reform
(4) Judicial reform
(5) Educational reform to raise creative human resources
(6) Structural reform in the labor market
(7) Measures to cope with population aging and shrinking number of births (pension, medical expenses etc.)

(provisional translation by the secretariat)