WASHINGTON – A group of major U.S. companies operating in Japan on Tuesday urged the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to enact more structural reforms.
The government should “set as its top priority the adoption of further structural reforms to make the Japanese economy more open externally and dynamic internally,” said the U.S.-Japan Business Council, which represents a range of firms.
“Confidence among foreign investors in the future prospects for Japan’s economic growth” is declining, the council said, adding that public confidence within Japan in the government’s Abenomics economic policy “has also weakened.”
“With limited capacity for more fiscal and monetary stimulus, it is increasingly apparent that maximum attention and effort needs to be directed to structural economic reforms,” it said.
The group called for reforms linked to labor policy, corporate governance and the planned implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade pact.
Noting the significance of women’s greater participation in the workforce and measures to introduce more flexibility into the labor system, the council said higher overall wages are “one of the keys to increasing private consumption in the economy.”
The council also called for the quick and full development of strategic deregulation zones and continued efforts to lower the corporate tax rate.