he following is a summary of the Keynote Speech by Mr. Nobuyuki Hirano, President & Group CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., at the 2015 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in November 2015.
Mr. Nobuyuki Hirano, President & Group CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. stated that he would focus on the U.S.-Japan partnership from a business perspective and emphasized the economic interdependence between the two countries. He said the strength and driver of growth of the U.S. economy is innovation. He referenced the secular stagnation theory of Professor Larry Summers and Professor Joseph Nye’s definition of soft power, and cited information and communication technology as key to the growth of the global economy in the 21st century.
Mr. Hirano noted that the Japanese economy has slowly begun to recover, citing the positive momentum and change in attitude brought on by Abenomics. He also noted the Asian economy’s potential for high growth, and emphasized the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to increase trade between the United States and Asia.
Mr. Hirano then described Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s efforts to expand its global business activities, and noted that the United States and ASEAN countries are the priority markets for building comprehensive local banking platforms. MUFG’s presence in the United States dates back to 1880, and last year the bank became the 13th largest bank in the nation. Mr. Hirano also outlined MUFG’s strategic partnership with Morgan Stanley and its establishment of a global innovation team in Silicon Valley in response to the rise of FinTech.
MUFG is also committed to giving back in the United States, and one example of this commitment is its strong support for the TOMODACHI Initiative. Under the TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program, about 100 middle and high school students have participated in exchange programs, which include language study, tours of local companies, and homestays. Mr. Hirano closed his remarks by emphasizing the vital role of MUFG and other businesses in strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship.
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