Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) opened its annual summer forum at a hotel in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, on July 20. A total of 39 top executives of major companies, led by Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara (Toray Group adviser) and Board of Councillors Chairman Hiromichi Iwasa (Mitsubishi Fudosan chairman), are participating in the gathering. Senior Vice Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi (Hitachi, Ltd. chairman) presided over the discussions on domestic and international issues. In addition to economic topics, the group will discuss the Constitution in a closed-door session on July 21.
On the first day, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) President John Hamre and Senior Vice President Michael Green delivered speeches on the international situation and the Trump administration. They pointed out that three factions are competing in the U.S. administration and this has resulted in instability in policy toward China and South Korea. They said there is a strong possibility that the U.S. will return to the TPP. They also urged the TPP 11 to go ahead with their discussions and “prepare for U.S. membership in the future.”
National Institute of Informatics Director General Masaru Kitsuregawa spoke on big data. He pointed out that “linking big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will bring new vitality to the economy.”