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Japanese minister wants more CSR

November 2009

Japan’s new financial services minister has declared his government’s commitment to CSR, attacking the country’s existing corporate ethics and promising there will be ‘no apeing of America’ under his leadership.

Shizuka Kamei, who was appointed last month, told The Times newspaper in his first foreign interview that Japan does not see companies as ‘money-making tools’ and insists they should embrace the ‘social meaning’ of business.

In August, Kamei’s Democratic Party of Japan ended a period of near unbroken Liberal Democratic Party rule since 1955. In his policy declaration Kamei attacked what he saw as Japan’s capitulation to US-inspired ‘radical market fundamentalism’. He said he wanted to see a return to ‘a typically Japanese style of corporate management’ built on a spirit of ‘unity and co-operation’ which had previously made the country successful. However, he emphasized that businesses, not the economic structure of society, must change.

Japan has widely been seen as a leader on CSR in Asia, although focussed more on environmental than social issues.




The Times | Asia | Government role

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