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Keidanren to propose policy on foreign workers

The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, will propose measures to use foreign workers and implement energy policies ahead of 2040, when Japan’s population is expected to reach its peak, Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura said in a recent interview .

According to Tokura, the association will draw up a medium-term vision for the economy and society, called ‘Future Design 2040’.

Tokura, who is now in his final year as Keidanren chief, said he will attach importance to public relations skills in selecting his successor.

In Japan, there are concerns that an aging population will hamper sustainable growth as labor shortages worsen and consumption shrinks.

To meet this challenge, Tokura said Keidanren will establish a new foreign worker policy committee, and the committee will issue policy proposals in January next year.

“We need the society and people (of Japan) to feel the need to use foreign workers,” Tokura emphasized. He noted that Keidanren is considering working with other private organizations to implement the intended policies.

To allay fears about the future among the younger generations, Tokura said: “We aim to build a cross-generational social security system that is fair and sustainable.”

About his successor, Tokura said: “I haven’t approached anyone or decided anything yet.” He said he wants to “elect a person who can grasp a mountain of social challenges from a broader perspective and consolidate and spread the opinions of the business community.”

Meanwhile, Tokura emphasized that wage increases at small and medium-sized companies are very important for structural wage growth. He indicated that Keidanren will revise its Charter of Corporate Behavior to improve the effectiveness of companies’ promises to achieve reasonable prices in transactions with suppliers.

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