"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Seminar “Investment Opportunities in Japan toward the New Asia-Pacific Era”

[Place] The Pierre, New York, USA
[Date] September 19, 2016
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am Shinzo Abe. It is a pleasure to be back in New York.

There is no doubt that Abenomics has improved Japan’s investment climate. Surveys on the appeal of investment destinations in Asia tell us that Japan ranks number one as a base for both R&D and marketing.

In the field of regenerative medicine, we have sped up approval processes, and drastically shortened the time needed until products can be put to use. As a result, some US companies have already established new bases in Japan.

Increasing numbers of people like you, with successful careers here in New York, are demonstrating their abilities in Japan. The number of professionals working in Japan from overseas has increased by 20 percent over the last three years. In order to accelerate this trend, we will create a \"Japanese Green Card for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.\" You will be able to get it sooner in Japan than in most other countries.

Japan’s outstanding balance of inward foreign direct investment reached a record 24 trillion yen last year. We are now putting into action further reforms with the goal of reaching 35 trillion yen by 2020.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, will trigger further reforms.

The TPP will be epoch-making for Japan and for countries in the Asia-Pacific in two ways.

First, the TPP will be a platform for expanding a free and fair economic space in the Asia Pacific.

It will create a combined economy encompassing 40 percent of the global economy, governed by rules fit for the 21st Century. The agreement will protect intellectual property rights and simplify trade procedures.

In anticipation of the TPP, IT, logistics and retail companies in Japan, the U.S., and Asia have begun to build region-wide value chains spanning the Pacific.

The new rules under the TPP will enable intrepid businesses with unique technologies or local specialties to flourish in overseas markets. Consumers will be able to purchase a multitude of products from member countries at reasonable prices, conveniently and with peace of mind. I hope you will enjoy our delicious and safe fruit, wagyû beef, rice and sake, which are produced with great care by devoted Japanese farmers.

Second, the TPP is a pillar for the U.S. strategy of “Rebalancing toward Asia.” Through the TPP, the U.S. can make clear its commitment to playing a leadership role in the growing Asia-Pacific.

Multiple countries have shown their interest in joining the TPP in the future. Countries that share fundamental values will deepen their economic ties, and that circle will widen further and further, contributing to the stability of the region. This is the strategic significance of the TPP.

Japan and the U.S. must each obtain domestic approval of the TPP as soon as possible for its early entry into force. Success or failure will sway the direction of the global free trade system, and the strategic environment in the Asia-Pacific. I will pursue approval of the TPP and related legislation in the upcoming Diet session. Japan will spare no effort, and we count on the U.S. to do the same.

The U.S. has long supported global peace and stability. This has enabled U.S. companies to be successful globally. I hope that Americans will feel tangibly the benefits of this prosperity, and support the leadership role America has demonstrated across the globe.

If the U.S., Japan, and the growing countries of the Asia Pacific become linked together, Japan will become an even more attractive investment destination.

JETRO and Japan’s diplomatic missions are combining their efforts to provide full assistance to companies seeking to invest in Japan. To all of you gathered here today, I have one message: Come, Invest in Japan! Thank you.