The following is a summary of the Keynote Speech by Dr. Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) & Chief Senior Advisor and Chief Senior Counselor, Toray Industries, Inc., at the 2015 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in November 2015.
Dr. Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) & Chief Senior Advisor and Chief Senior Counselor, Toray Industries, Inc. lauded the role the U.S.-Japan Council has played in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. The United States and Japan share similar values and their people are bound by mutual ties. He emphasized working to further strengthen this relationship.
Driven by these objectives, Keidanren dispatched its largest mission to the United States this year. The members went to several U.S. states and Dr. Sakakibara gave a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Congress. The timing could not have been better given Prime Minister Abe’s speech to the U.S. Congress. The members of the delegation met with many key U.S. Government officials in the areas they visited and highlighted the contributions that Japanese companies have made to the U.S. economy, amounting to 1.7 million jobs and $580 billion. The visit left Dr. Sakakibara with the impression that Japanese companies are well incorporated into American communities and support economic growth.
Dr. Sakakibara said that the visit would not be a one-off effort. He said that top priority should be given to the speedy and smooth implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will allow the United States and Japan to create a shared economic zone with new rules in the center of economic growth. This is important not only for the business community, but also for other sectors like the agriculture sector.
Dr. Sakakibara said that Keidanren will spare no effort in its support of TPP. He noted that 1,100 U.S. companies are doing business in Japan, and expressed his hope that the TPP would prompt more companies to come to Japan. The major goal is to make Japan the most business-friendly country in the world, and Keidanren urges the Government to undertake reforms. Dr. Sakakibara said he hoped that the United States would take note of how Japan is transforming itself to be business-friendly and direct increased investment toward the country. He concluded by noting that Keidanren reopened its office in Washington D.C. to boost the presence of Japanese companies in the United States.
Click here to learn more about the 2015 Annual Conference.