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SECURITY > Cybersecurity

Keidanren warns against “excessive restrictions” in name of economic security

  • February 8, 2022
  • , Asahi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

By Tomoda Takehiro and Abe Ryutaro 

 

The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) has issued an opinion on the government’s draft bill on economic security, a bill for which the government aims to obtain cabinet approval this month. In its opinion, Keidanren recognized the need for economic security, but it cautioned that “[the government] should not impose excessive restrictions on business activities.” Keidanren hopes to submit the opinion paper to the government soon.

 

Keidanren acknowledged the importance of preventing technologies from leaking overseas, likely out of concern for the intensifying struggle for hegemony between the United States and China. The paper stated that “it is no longer possible to separate economic activities and national security” and that economic security is “an urgent issue.”

 

On the other hand, the organization is wary of increasing the burden on Japanese businesses as economic security-related regulations could hinder their performance in the international marketplace. “Corporate activities should not be restricted to an excessive degree,” Keidanren stressed. “The business environment must be enhanced in a manner that allows companies to operate freely.”

 

Above all else, Keidanren was concerned about governmental interference in matters regarding supply chains, which firms have built based on economics and their corporate strategy. Keidanren stressed that the “essential items” designated in the government’s draft bill should be limited to items where there is a high risk of supply being disrupted. The business organization also acknowledged the necessity of governmental review of core infrastructure but urged the scope to be strictly limited to “the very minimum necessary.”

 

Details remain vague as to the scope and target of the measures to strengthen supply chains and review core infrastructure. Depending on how the debate evolves in the future, corporations could end up facing even higher hurdles than the draft indicates. A source in the business community said: “They say ‘the devil is in the details.’ We are going to closely watch how things develop.” (Abridged)

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