June 10, 2020
On May 18, 2020, the Council on Promoting Partnership Building for Cultivating the Future held a meeting and agreed to introduce a new framework called a “Declaration of Partnership Building” and to help large enterprises and SMEs to build mutually-beneficial relationships. Related ministries and agencies will work together to further encourage management and owners of many businesses to prepare and announce Declarations of Partnership Building.
Aiming to make large enterprises and SMEs co-exist and co-prosper, the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) inaugurated a Council of Eminent Persons on Value Creation Companies (chair: Mr. Mimura Akio, Chairman, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry), and on February 2020, the council compiled an “interim report” presenting approaches to making individual companies’ efforts visible through their own “voluntary-based action declarations.”
Moreover, the Emergency Economic Measures for Response to COVID-19, on which a Cabinet Decision was made on April 20, 2020, stipulates that Japan should develop a system to promote the introduction of appropriate trade practices among companies, along with other actions, in order to prevent SMEs and small businesses from bearing the burdens of worsened business environments resulting from impacts of the novel coronavirus disease and other factors.
In response to these goals, the government inaugurated a Council on Promoting Partnership Building for Cultivating the Future consisting of representatives from the business circles and the labor organizations as well as related ministers as members.
At its first meeting held on May 18, 2020, the council held discussions on the following issues:
- Preventing SMEs and small enterprises from “bearing burdens caused by unfair trade conditions” and continuing to advance efforts for encouraging companies to introduce appropriate trade practices, while taking into consideration impacts of the novel coronavirus disease; and
- Encouraging companies to build new partnerships involving efforts for increasing value added across supply chains and open innovation across business scales, groups and borders, and others.
Based on these discussions, the council affirmed that Japan should introduce: a framework called a “Declaration of Partnership Building” in which individual companies voluntarily declare that they will engage in Items (1) and (2) above; and a listing system of current companies that have issued their declarations, including details of their declarations.
The government, in cooperation with the Council on Promoting Partnership Building for Cultivating the Future, will advance efforts to encourage more and more companies to announce their Declarations of Partnership Building, aiming at August 2020 when many companies will negotiate their trade conditions for the latter half of FY 2020.
Preparation and announcement of the Declaration of Partnership Building
Individual companies are requested to use the online form to submit a declaration that they have prepared through the portal website, which is operated by the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Organizations. In response, the association will post the submitted declarations on the website.Reference: Council on Promoting Partnership Building for Cultivating the Future
This council consists of the following members: the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy; the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare; the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Chairman of the Keidanren; Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and President of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO).