• Kyodo

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Japan needs to stop depending on its legacy of high economic growth and start investing in future generations, a private-sector group consisting of business and labor union leaders and academics said Thursday.

To address the aging society, declining population and fiscal deterioration, Japan must forget about the high economic growth it enjoyed throughout the 1980s and launch reforms in areas such as business, technology and education, Japan Akademeia said in a report on potential solutions to the long-term issues facing the country.

On the diplomatic front, the group urged the government to resume dialogue with China and South Korea over conflicting views on perceptions of history.

To achieve a future-oriented society, the group proposed the creation of a Japanese version of Silicon Valley and the expansion of workplaces for the elderly so the government can raise the age at which pension benefits start.

The group also called for the introduction of a system that adjusts the number of Diet seats to reflect demographic changes without the need for Diet approval.

Reforms utilizing information and communication technology as well as the construction of research and development facilities and a system to accumulate human resources should also be implemented in the medical, pharmaceutical, nursing care and agricultural fields.

The group also touched on the need to turn key regional cities into “compact cities” with enhanced functions. To counter global warming, the group called for the use of hydrogen energy and the restarting of nuclear power plants.

Japan Akademeia also urged the government to raise the consumption tax rate higher than the current 8 percent, but it did not mention a specific rate.

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