The New Economy Summit is one of the biggest technology conferences that Japan has to offer (see our coverage from last year here), perhaps the most international of the country’s tech events with guests and speakers from all around the world, including many familiar faces from Silicon Valley, Europe, and around Asia.
Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani started the morning with a few brief opening remarks. He began by outlining how JANE can advance innovation in Japan, promote the country across the globe, among other important issues. Interestingly one of the issues that he talked about was an ‘Internet Autobahn’, and the goal of having free wifi in Tokyo before 2020.
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe then made a surprise appearance with some brief remarks, noting that “The atmosphere around Japan has been transformed, and Japan is beginning to recover the challenging spirit that it once lost.” He said that last year’s New Economy Summit resulted in invaluable recommendations. Abe said that we need to “enhance the metabolism of the Japanese economy” and they are working to reform regulations to that end. Corporate taxes that have been lowered by 2.4% will be lowered even further, and he also mentioned a new English language exam for civil servants.
Venture capital last year was six times that of the previous year, and that’s already a positive sign. My administration’s reforms will continue, and we’ll continue to everything possible. Japanese citizens should have hope for a bright future. […] And entrepreneurs will play a key role in this. ¶