Japan must revitalize and reinvigorate its economy to remain competitive as the world economy globalizes, according to an advisory panel’s report submitted Tuesday to Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi, who is expected to be named new prime minister this week.

“Each country faces great challenges amid globalization. If a country deals appropriately with globalization, it will gain enormous opportunities, but its strength will decline if it improperly deals with the trend,” says the 260-page report of the 20-member advisory panel. The panel, headed by Jiro Ushio, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), was set up in spring 1997 to seek ways to ensure Japan’s economic security amid globalization.

How to cope with globalization is the biggest task for a nation to ensure such security, the report reckons. “If Japan wants to survive as one of the leaders of the world in the 21st century and thereby maximize the benefits of its people, all the people need to drastically change their way of thinking,” the report says.

Japan’s efforts have so far been insufficient and thus the nation has not been active in leading globalization, the report says, recommending five policy goals for survival. The nation should take an active role in establishing global rules and standards, the report recommends.

The other policy goals include Japan’s cooperation in establishing a “safety net” for socially disadvantaged people who are left behind in the competition of globalization, and taking an active role in the fight against such worldwide problems as environmental destruction and international organized crime.

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