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The Prime Minister in Action

Closing Session of the B20 Summit

March 15, 2019

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address
[Provisional Translation]
On March 15, 2019, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Business 20 (B20) Tokyo Summit closing session held in Tokyo.
The Prime Minister said in his address,
“I am extremely honored to say a few words as the Chair of the G20 Osaka Summit in front of leading figures of the business circles of the participating countries.
On behalf of the Government of Japan, I welcome all of you to our country. It has been ten years since the leaders of major economies came under the same roof and held the inaugural G20 summit with the determination to maintain sustainable growth through the unity of international community.
During this period, the G20, the leaders of twenty countries, have gathered regularly and communicated to the world our determination to tackle various issues while exchanging views on the state of the global economy. Indeed, the G20 has played a major role in driving the global economy forward.
The prospect of the global economy has been increasing its uncertainty due to the ongoing development of the trade frictions between the United States and China, and Brexit. Against this backdrop, the importance of the G20 is increasing more significantly. Unity is the starting point of the G20. At this year’s Osaka Summit, I intend to confirm once again the strong commitment of the G20 towards sustainable growth of the global economy.
Under the Abe Cabinet, the Japanese economy has grown by more than 10 percent thanks to our economic policy, known as the three arrows of Abenomics. Now, the number of job openings exceeds the number of applicants in all 47 prefectures in Japan, which is the first time in our history.
We will further consolidate the growth path for our economy. To that end, our Growth Strategy, which looks ahead to our future among the three arrows, is more important than anything else.
Artificial intelligence, robots, big data – the world is currently in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While the world is facing various issues such as expanding inequality, declining birthrate, and aging societies, we must work on overcoming these challenges through making full use of innovative technologies.
It is the G20, a group of economies that account for 80% of the world’s GDP, and most importantly, the leaders of business circles that should take the lead of such efforts. In this regard, the role of the B20 is quite important.
Your recommendations today have come out at truly a timely manner, and I intend to work together to pave the way to the new era, which we call “Society 5.0.” Data can be seen equivalent to oil in the era of Society 5.0; we must ensure a free flow of data cross the world, while protecting privacy and security.
At the recent Davos meeting, I proposed the concept of Data Free Flow with Trust (D.E.F.T.). I would like to launch the Osaka Track for global rule making on the occasion of the G20 Osaka Summit. By doing so, I hope to bring new momentum towards the reform of the WTO. I intend to bring this to further progress of the trade system based on free and fair rules.
It is also crucial to create a virtuous cycle between environmental protection and growth by expanding investments in this field. We must combine forces to accelerate innovations such as technologies making full use of CO2 as a resource material. By doing so, we will make significant progress towards the resolution of climate change. If we are successful in mass production of bioplastics that dissolve in the sea, we will see a significant improvement on the issue of ocean plastic pollution.
Advancing our efforts on global issues is also one of the agendas of this year’s G20 towards a sustainable world. Any single country is not capable of solving these issues alone; Collective efforts of the international community are indispensable. 
At the same time, it is true that many pessimistic views exist over the progress of international cooperation regarding the current status of world affairs. Nevertheless, I will close my remarks by sharing a quote from the French philosopher, Alain (Émile Auguste Chartier) – “Pessimism comes from the temperament, optimism from the will.” We will surely be able to come up with policies toward the solution to various issues at this year’s G20 Summit. I am an optimist in this regard. That is because the leaders of the twenty countries come together because we share a strong will towards the resolution of global issues. I will exercise leadership as the chair with such a strong will and exert every effort to seek a consensus by identifying our common grounds not emphasizing our differences. I would like to ask the members of the B20 for your cooperation.  
I intend to make the G20 Osaka Summit a success through cooperation with the business circles. I would like to close my remarks by clearly stating that intention in front of you. Thank you for listening.”

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