If you’re an adult, you’ve probably heard of Keidanren at least once.
When you walk through the underground mall in Otemachi, you pass the Keidanren Kaikan building, which seems to be a very influential organization in politics and business. It seems to me that Keidanren is a very influential organization in politics and business circles.
However, the Keidanren has been going astray in recent years.
It would be preferable for it to end its existence.
Of course, there are many respected figures in the business world. Former Chairman Kawamura of Hitachi, Ltd. is a prime example. I encourage people to take a fresh look at their lives after being caught up in the airplane hijacking incident, and furthermore, to cultivate a broader education and mindset than just running a company.
In this article, I would like to introduce the problems faced by the Keidanren in explaining why this kind of drop-off occurs.
What is Keidanren?
Frankly speaking, I don’t know why they exist today.
In the past, there was a purpose and a reason for organizing, but nowadays in Japan, there is no need for a group of companies to do something together.
There may be well-defined operating rules and regulations, but at least they are not easy to find by searching.
However, since the Keidanren Kaikan building exists, it is likely that they are still receiving contributions from member companies.
However, I have not heard of a large amount of money being spent on anything, so it is not likely to be a large amount.
I work in the business strategy department of a company that belongs to the Keidanren, and the amount of money invested in the Keidanren has never been a burden on the company’s budget.
Also, we don’t have a lot of people to recruit or to dispatch to companies, and our human resources are probably not that great.
More importantly, if you work for a company, it appears that there are considerably more people sent to Cabinet offices. We have a number of people on secondment, albeit for a limited period of time.
And the money we pay to unions is large enough to make us aware of it every time we look at our paychecks.
(That’s why it’s not just for union officers’ operating expenses, etc., but also for donations to politicians.)
Now that we know that financial and organizational power is not much, how much power does the Keidanren have?
There is no need for the Keidanren to exist unless there is a conflict of ideas between government and business, and business is better off united or competing with similar organizations.
However, there have been many times in the past when outstanding people have been president, and because of that, they are well known.
Also, these days, the media and government agencies sometimes get the Keidanren to work on their impressions.
The power they have would be about that. And there is absolutely no need for your company to follow the decisions made by the Keidanren.
Also, a solid organization would need to have a good top management and staff in place, and the costs required would increase.
They have it easy, so they don’t have the financial resources or power to do it beyond the name value.
They are “papier-mache tigers.
Therefore, even if the chairman of the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) says something, the only people he can actually influence are the companies to which he belongs.
And because he is the chairman, he is respected as much as possible, but it is not a decision made by the executives who are in charge of company management.
Managing a company is a tough job. But managing a company is a tough job, and it is hard to manage a separate organization at the same time.
In other words, the power of the person who is the chairman of Keidanren is limited, even within his own company. Companies only dispatch people to the Keidanren who are not required to be there.
The other thing is that, like Chairman Kawamura, whom I have cited above, we send only people who have a humanistic approach to their work, saying, “It’s important because it’s a man like him who tells us what to do, so let’s follow him. That’s why we want to follow him.
Weaknesses of the Keidanren
Keidanren does not scout for outstanding people to be appointed to the top spot.
Participating companies consult with each other to select a chairman who will not be inconvenienced by the company’s management.
Currently, Mr. Nakanishi of Hitachi, Ltd. is the chairman of the board.
His ideas and recent developments can be seen directly in his YouTube videos and other videos.
- [Japanese] Regular Meeting of the Chinese and Western Association (7 Sep 2020)
- [Japanese] How do you deal with China? Two leading figures in the Japanese business world clash head-on (2020.9.23)
Especially when you watch the video, you are appalled that this is the chairman of a major Japanese company.
He has no understanding of politics. Abe carefully assessed his situation and those around him, and although he didn’t say he was stepping down, he consulted with those around him to formulate a plan. Once he had made up his mind, he announced his resignation after consulting with key officials.
Aside from Abe’s accomplishments and abilities, those involved in the process are also highly respectful of his influence on world leaders and others. The RAND Corporation and others have also expressed regret at Abe’s retirement.
This is the so-called “Abe loss”. He had such a presence and there is no one who can replace him.
If such a Japanese prime minister were to suddenly retire due to poor health, the country would be in chaos as it was during the first Abe administration. There are many pressing issues, especially at the moment. There is one year left in his term of office and the timing of the general election is critical. If I dissolve the Diet, I will have to go on regional support tours and so on. And then there will be your own election. If you’re not a member of Congress, you’re “just a guy”.
The U.S. also has a presidential election coming up in November. If the situation becomes increasingly tense from now on and the successor is entrusted with the job, there will be chaos in promoting policy.
Well, you could have VP Aso as his successor, but that would not nurture the people and it would upset the political balance. Besides, the new president needs to be chosen according to the party’s rules, even if they have been simplified. That would create a political vacuum, albeit a small one.
That is why Abe decided to resign from his post as prime minister at this time. It was a brilliant decision.
What did Mr. Nakanishi, the chairman of Keidanren, have to say about this decision?
- I can’t step down as casually as the PM.
- He resigned without hesitation.
Hmmm, it’s as if I don’t understand the situation. I’m sorry to hear that you are ill and having a hard time, but even if you were, you are the chairman of the Keidanren.
Maybe you’re busy treating your illness and managing Hitachi, but if that’s the case, your staff should be briefed and educated on the political situation. If you can’t do that, then it’s better to read out a draft prepared for you in advance.
In other words, this is the limit of Keidanren. If President Nakanishi were to wander off, the organizational system of Keidanren needs a system and rules to control him so that he can behave appropriately as president. That’s why that doesn’t exist. It’s not “Team Keidanren.
It has been neglected, perhaps because of the success of outstanding individuals in the past, and has become nothing more than a place for a clueless old man to express his feelings. If this is the case, he cannot influence the political and business world.
I heard that Mr. Nakanishi was surprised that Keidanren doesn’t have an email system in place, but he should take to Twitter like President Trump did. A mere chairman of Keidanren doesn’t seem to need to pay particular attention to security. Since you’re a busy person, you can just text on your own phone.
(If it’s a Hitachi company phone, you’ll probably have some security measures in place.)
In some ways, it’s outdated to be without a computer on your desk. This is not the time to be surprised at our predecessors. And no matter how good the equipment is, the first thing that matters is the people who use it.
On top of that, they are too dull to the international situation. Unlike JR Tokai Kasai, Hitachi is highly dependent on Chinese business, so we may not be able to say anything clever about it. But if you are aware of this situation, it is preferable to remain silent and not make any irrelevant comments. It could be interpreted as thinking about Hitachi and saying something irrelevant.
In that sense, his predecessor, former Hitachi chairman Kawamura, had stressed the importance of being educated. He also stressed the importance of having the ability to make decisions. I wonder to what extent Chairman Kawamura’s thoughts have been conveyed to Chairman Nakanishi.
Unfortunately, Chairman Nakanishi does not seem to have the education to understand the political situation. And he does not seem to have a staff that he can rely on.
He also does not seem to have the determination that he used to have in the past, but now he does not seem to have it. It would be best for him and those around him to retire immediately.
(I’m sure your relatives are worried about you, too. You shouldn’t be so stubborn.)
Well I did a search to write this article and I saw an article that was not fun.
I don’t know if this is due to ill health or the comments of JR Tokai Kasai, but it’s certainly due to the fact that an ill man is holding the office of chairman.
Even if the Keidanren doesn’t exist, unlike the prime minister, the problem of stopping important decisions and political decisions doesn’t arise.
I guess it is very difficult for him to carry out the office of chairman while in the hospital. I would recommend that you step down as soon as possible.
Well, I think that’s enough for now. See you soon.