The report represents the result of research, analysis, and discussion among economists from the member trading companies, who focused on the high potential and adaptive abilities of Japanese companies and the Japanese economy, and conducted analysis centered on Japan’s trade and investment relations with overseas economies to answer the question: What must be done to achieve a bright and prosperous future for Japan? The report aims at a medium term perspective, over the next five to ten years.
The Special Research Committee was headed by Professor KIMURA Fukunari of the Faculty of Economics of Keio University and met a total of 21 times over the course of 17 months between June 2006 and October 2007. In addition to the energetic debate among Special Research Committee members, leading figures and experts from academia and other industries were invited for interviews and exchanges of opinions, thus advancing the research and study of the Committee.
The starting point for our discussions was an intuitive questioning of the pessimistic future image of Japan that is generally accepted, namely “Japan’s vitality will decline in the face of a declining birthrate, aging society and mature economy.”
The report identifies a large number of issues facing Japan and Japanese companies, including surging prices of natural resources and energy coupled with the emergence of resource-based nationalism, increasingly serious environmental problems, as well as the rapid aging of society and falling birthrates. It goes on to assert that if Japan and Japanese companies can harness their potential and put their highly adaptive abilities to the fore in overcoming the various challenges that are faced, it will be possible to establish Japan as a foreign trade country at a new level, or in other words a “new foreign trade country” and therefore create a midterm vision for a bright and prosperous future for Japan.