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2013年10月21日 (月)

競争力強化法案 成長戦略の具体化へ成立急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun October 21, 2013
Pass industrial competitiveness bill quickly to ensure economic growth
競争力強化法案 成長戦略の具体化へ成立急げ(10月20日付・読売社説)

The government’s bill on industrial competitiveness is an important step toward advancing the government’s growth strategy, a primary tool to restore the Japanese economy.

The government has submitted the bill, which is aimed at bolstering the nation’s industrial competitiveness, to the Diet. Lawmakers must work hard to pass it as soon as possible in order to revitalize companies.

A virtuous circle, in which recovery of corporate performance leads to wage hikes and more jobs, must be realized to bring the Japanese economy out of deflation and put it on a steady growth path.

The industrial competitiveness bill reflects industrial development and other policies contained in the growth strategy compiled by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration in June. It includes a wide variety of measures to increase the potential of companies.

The bill calls for the intense enhancement of the nation’s industrial competitiveness during the next five years. Initially, an action plan for the first three years will be made. An implementation period will be decided for each measure, and a minister in charge will be required to take additional action if implementation drops behind or does not produce sufficient results.

Details of each measure must be decided in advance so they will bear fruit steadily.

A primary measure to bolster industrial competitiveness is to review excessive restrictions preventing companies from starting new business.

The bill will introduce a new system to relax regulations as a special measure for companies working on innovative projects such as development of a next-generation automobile. We expect the system to promote innovations.

The bill would also create a system for the government to give advance approval of new businesses planned by companies after clarifying ambiguities in existing regulations and checking whether such businesses violate them. The system is expected to be especially beneficial in the medical field, and if it is established firmly, it will help companies develop new businesses more easily.

Proactive business strategy

Quite a few domestic industries are suffering from excessive competition. To solve this problem, the bill also contains measures to lighten the tax burdens on mergers and creation of companies to encourage consolidation through reorganization of the industries concerned.

However, it is feared that sufficient results cannot be achieved unless companies use such support measures actively.

In December, the government will formulate a package of economic measures that will include tax breaks for companies that invest in plant and equipment and raise salaries of employees. This is an opportunity for companies to take a proactive management strategy. We expect corporate leaders to seriously consider business strategies that can boost the competitiveness of their companies.

Of course, the envisaged measures in the industrial competitiveness bill alone do not cover all the bases.

The government should accelerate its efforts to create an environment friendly to corporate activities by combining the bill’s measures and other growth strategy measures such as creation of national strategic special zones in which regulations would be relaxed prior to those in other areas.

However, the government has not gone far enough in the restrictions it has decided to relax in the special zone, and has even retreated from its initial plans on employment and the medical field.

Abe is expected to exercise leadership and boldly break down long-established restrictions as solid as rock.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 20, 2013)
(2013年10月20日01時26分  読売新聞)


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