Donohue Pitches Private Sector-Led Growth in Japan
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
The U.S. Chamber’s Asia team capped a busy but productive week in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo with a series of meetings between Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue and Japanese Cabinet officials, executives, and industry leaders, as well as members of the U.S. corporate community affiliated with the AmCham Tokyo and US-Japan Business Council.
The overriding message in each session was that the Chamber is engaged on U.S.-Japan economic issues, and has integrated with the U.S.-Japan Business Council as a means of giving this critical relationship more focus and expertise internally. The organizing theme for the discussions was the need for private sector-led growth in Japan as a way to sustain recovery from the 2011 disaster and provide jobs and more revenue to service growing pension and health care payments as the society ages.
Starting with an Op-Ed in Nikkei on July 19, Donohue made the compelling case that Japan should view entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as a primary means of driving growth by expanding trade and inward foreign investment. He offered Chamber support for Japan's entry into the TPP negotiations if it is on the same high standards and terms as the current partners. This message was reinforced in each meeting, as well as a July 20 appearance on Squawk Box Asia. Donohue urged Japanese leaders to make a clear commitment to TPP by putting “everything on the table” to establish confidence among the partners, as you “have to have a seat on the train to go for a ride.”
In addition to TPP, Donohue emphasized the great potential for a win-win opportunity for cooperation on energy. Specifically, the U.S. and Japan can work together on nuclear power with enhanced safety to ensure that Japan has a stable supply of electricity to keep the economy moving. Japanese officials were also keenly interested in the prospects for exports of the suddenly abundant US natural gas (LNG) to Japan. Donohue outlined the technical and political hurdles to clear - noting that Japan's entry into TPP would ease the licensing requirements - while offering support on this issue.
Lastly, Donohue stressed that more foreign investment in Japan will boost growth by injecting capital, generating tax revenue, and creating jobs. Japanese officials were very receptive to these ideas and expressed great appreciation for Donohue's interest and support.