New Year’s Message from the Representative Director for 2021

On behalf of the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE), I would like to extend our best wishes for the New Year.

I would like to express my deepest condolences to those who lost their lives due to COVID-19 infection, and my heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the medical and nursing staff for their dedication and hard work.

Last year, the spread of COVID-19 infection posed a great challenge to the globalized world. It was also a year that revealed Japan’s lag behind in digitalization while the use of digital technology has become the norm around the world.

In response to this unprecedented crisis, JANE has been fully cooperating with the Government’s efforts by promoting remote work, raising awareness of social distancing, and sharing information in Japan and abroad. We have released a series of statements including the “Statement on Countermeasures against COVID-19 Infection” and the “Package of Measures to Save the Japanese Economy with a View to Declaring a State of Emergency.” These statements called for a balance between expanding the public healthcare system and sustaining the economic activities, while proposing solutions using digital technology, such as the online services in healthcare, medicine and education. As a group of reform-minded companies, JANE will continue to do its utmost to promote the digital transformation of Japan through the united efforts of the public and private sectors, taking the huge crisis caused by COVID-19 as an opportunity for change.

As the implementation of AI, 5G, IoT, blockchain, and other technologies continues to advance, the era where digital technology and the Internet will bring further transformation to all industries and consumers, is now a reality. In order for Japanese companies to be highly competitive in this era, they need an environment that encourages new innovation and creative solutions from Japan, utilizing the benefit of a diverse and energetic workforce. Since the start of our activities in 2012, JANE has focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and globalization as the guiding principles of our activities. As the environment surrounding Japan changes further, including the rise of emerging countries such as China and India, we expect the Japanese government to strongly promote policies that nurture an innovative environment. In addition, we will continue to urge the Government to give policy support to entrepreneurs and start-ups which have the spirit to take on the challenge of going global, and to attract new and talented human resources from overseas to participate in this process.

The Digital Agency, the centerpiece of the policies announced by the Suga administration immediately after its inauguration, is expected to be established this Fall. We believe that Japan’s “digital revolution,” with the Digital Agency at the helm, is comparable in scale and significance to the Meiji Restoration of 150 years ago and the postwar reforms of 75 years ago. In order to push forward with such reforms and realize the digitization of Japanese society as a whole, it is necessary to create organizations, gather human resources, and utilize technology with flexible and open-minded ideas that are not bound by the conventions of the past. JANE will continue to closely monitor the Diet’s deliberations on the bill to establish the Agency and on the related bills, and we will actively make necessary policy proposals to the Diet.

In 2022, JANE will celebrate its 10th anniversary. We have positioned this year as the runway for the next ten years. We will continue to play the role as a new force to open up the post-COVID-19 era by further refining the growth strategy for Japan as outlined in our economic policy package “Japan Ahead 2” of 2018.

I would appreciate your support and cooperation in the year ahead.