The script of the statement by
Mr. Shintaro Ito, State-Secretary for Foreign Affairs
(Message to OECD Ministerial Council Meeting)
Looking over the current world situations, the economic gaps between developing and developed countries, as well as the income gaps among people in developed countries, have become an issue. Putting a top priority on the profit maximization of investors, some companies have been tossed by wide swings in profit and loss assessed by a Current Value Accounting system and have lost their own identities.
Given the lessons learned from the current crisis, a paradigm shift is necessary to correct excessive capitalism and make progress of humankind in the 21st century. We have to go back to basics and re-think a brand new principle, system and governance structure.
The new paradigm should not be based on the expansion of short-term profit, which the current form of capitalism has put excessive focus on, but rather aim at establishing a structure to make more people happy while respecting diversified values.
I would like to emphasize that restraining our inner greed is one of the most important themes of the 21st century. From this perspective, I highly commend the OECD's on-going initiatives and expect further actions.
For instance, I appreciate the OECD's initiatives, including "Principles of Corporate Governance," as frameworks to limit undisciplined corporate activities. Tax havens are a typical example of profit supremacy. Actions against non-cooperative jurisdictions are essentially important for the OECD, as confirmed at the London Summit.
It is significantly important to consider the global economic architecture in the 21st century from the viewpoint of "Human security," such as the concept to protect all people from various threats caused by the crisis and realize their potential. We have to remind ourselves that a vocation is not merely a means to earn money, but a fundamental dignity as a human. Labor is not a tool of companies. People can and should be connected with society through their vocations and identify their raison d'etre.
In conclusion, I would like to insist we should not just focus on quantitative expansion but rather should look at qualitative development in diverse ways.
Taking this meeting as an opportunity, I expect to deepen the global discussion related to achieving the ideal country in the 21st century.
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