The Sixteenth Edition of Roundtable Japan will be exceptionally held online
Securing Japan’s strategic interests in a post Covid world
What does it mean for Japan?
The world economy is going through a shock without precedent since the great depression of the 30s, with all major economies, with the exception of China, in negative growth up to minus 12% in some cases, public debt levels continuing to soar, unemployment rising and no prospect of getting back to 2019 level before the first part of 2022 at best. As things stand, China looks set to emerge from the crisis in a much stronger position than the US, with Europe and Japan coming behind.
- What kind of new balance of economic forces are we looking at post pandemic?
- What will be the implications?
- What could that mean for Japan economic and geopolitical orientations?
- Robert A. Feldman, Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., Ltd., Japan
- Itoh Motoshige, Professor, Gakushuin University, Japan
- Christian Noyer, former Governor, Bank de France
- Terasawa Tatsuya, Senior Advisor to the Cabinet Secretariat, Special Advisor to the Minister, former Vice-Minister for International Affairs, METI, Japan
- Claude Smadja, Founder and Chairman, Smadja & Smadja Strategic Advisory, Switzerland
The pandemic is forcing Japan to accelerate business digitization and changes in workforce practices in an unprecedented way. The pandemic needs to be used as an opportunity for a major push towards modernization of the country’s economy. However, digitization
is also creating more pressure to address in a more systematic way increasing threats to cybersecurity. The government has set new guidelines for promoting digitization of activities, also aiming at creating a “digital government”.
- What measures to push for the development of e-commerce as part of the digitization process and as a way to boost economic activity?
- How would a “digital agency” help create a quantum leap in Japan’s digitization process?
- Beyond the business domain, what measures in the education and medical services domains?
- In what ways will teleworking help modernize the country work practices?
- What are the immediate steps to ensure that increased cybersecurity will keep pace with business and society digitization?
For a number of years Japan had been the odd man out with subpar growth or economic stagnation, deflation, excess savings, aging population. However, since the end of the 2008-09 financial crisis Japanization has become a buzzword describing the similar situation faced by a number of advanced economies with long-lasting zero or negative interest rates and extended quantitative easing. And now, as they assess the medium and long-term impact of the pandemic, many economists are warning that “Japanization” might be the fate of most advanced economies.
- What are the implications for Japan of the fact that most advanced economies are now in the same kind of fiscal and monetary situation than Japan and that “Japanization” might become the new normal?
- Would Japan’s experience in having to deal for a long time with a situation that other advanced countries are now experiencing give some kind of competitive advantage to the country in a post Covid context?
- What could this mean for the evolution of the Yen and for the way foreign investors look at Japanese assets?
- Matsumoto Oki, Chairman, Monex Group, Japan Inc.
- William Pesek, Contributing Columnist, Nikkei Asia & Author, “Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan’s Lost Decades”
- Paul Sheard, Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, USA
- Georges Ugeux, Chairman & CEO, Galileo Advisors LLC, USA
- Iwata Kazumasa, President, Japan Economic Research Center, Japan
Prime Minister Suga has put administrative reform and deregulation as a top priority for his government. The context of the pandemic might help the new cabinet overcome resistances from vested interests and move forward with reforms that would help increase economic efficiency and provide significant support for a more robust economic performance in the future.
- What “low hanging fruits” in terms of administrative reform and deregulation could translate into immediate tangible improvement in business framework conditions?
- PM Suga has been quiet on labor market reform. To what extent should this be an important element of the deregulation agenda?
- How far should a reform of the telecom sector go to improve significantly business conditions and e-commerce boost?
- How to advance on immigration reform without creating a backlash?