Statement by Kengo Sakurada, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai on Lifting of Emergency Declaration Regarding New Coronavirus Pandemic
May 25, 2020
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai
- The government has today lifted the emergency declaration for Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures, as well as the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, making all Japanese prefectures free from the declaration that once covered the entire country. We respect all citizens who have complied with self-restraint requests from the government and the municipalities, and above all, all healthcare workers who have provided dedicated services. We can pride ourselves on having prevented the wide spread of infections without forceful measures or penalties we saw in other nations. Nonetheless, we must stay alert and prepared even further for the possible second wave of infections. In this regard, we request the government to continue its effort to enhance medical systems and virus testing systems, and promote countermeasures against the infectious disease that protect people's lives and health, such as development of therapeutic drugs and vaccines.
- While we will revive socio-economic activities in a phased approach, households and businesses are left in severe conditions after the emergency measures that extended about one month and a half. There are concerns that a slump in the economy due to sluggish demand will increase employment uncertainty. First and foremost, we request the government to take steps for payments of each pending subsidy with the utmost urgency. Second, we request expeditious implementation and enhancement of support measures, which cover all individuals seriously in need of help for cost of living as well as all businesses who desperately need funding for running the business. We hope that the second supplementary budget will have relevant allocations.
- An array of challenges has emerged during the period until the lifting of the emergency declaration. In taking on those challenges, we must promote a national debate with participation of public/private sectors, carry on institutional reforms, and build more resilient, sustainable socio-economic systems. By doing so, we will find a way to create a "new normal" in "With Corona" society. From this perspective, Keizai Doyukai will endeavor to propose, implement, and realize measures, aiming at reforming mindset of managers/employees, corporate culture, and even mentality/behavior of the public in society as a whole.