Japanese Business Leaders Cite Challenges for 2020

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Top Japanese business leader Hiroaki Nakanishi has emphasized that a key challenge for companies in the country this year will be whether they "can adapt without hesitation to changes in industrial structures brought about by the digitization" of the economy.

The digitization of the economy in which the movements of humans and goods are converted into data and new products and services are created through an analysis of the accumulated data, is "unstoppable," Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the biggest group of employers in the country, said in an interview at the start of the new year.

"Corporate managers have been tending not to take risks since the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, but it's the time for them to start taking risks again," he said.

In a separate interview, Kengo Sakurada, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, better known as Keizai Doyukai, said that top management officials' sense of crisis is "extremely important," in the wake of scandals at Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503> and the Japan Post Holdings Co. <6178> group.

"Constant supervision by (companies') nomination committees in the selection of chief executive officers is crucial," he added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press