The other day IMD, a Swiss business school, released its annual World Competitiveness Ranking which looks at 63 countries and regions. Japan was ranked first for four straight years from 1989. But, after that Japan’s ranking started slipping and now it has fallen to 30th, our lowest ever. Singapore is ranked first, Hong Kong second, China 14th, and South Korea 28th; even within Asia, Japan’s decline is clear. If we look at the categories, for example “Business Efficiency,” Japan remains low at 46, and for indicators “Use of big data and analytics,” “International experience,” and “Starting a business,” Japan ranks among the lowest. These are extremely concerning results, and we must not refuse to acknowledge Japan’s critical state.
In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass,” the Red Queen says, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” Derived from these words, evolutionary genetics proposes the “Red Queen” hypothesis that organisms must constantly evolve, or become extinct. Applying this to Tokyo in the Reiwa era, Tokyo must continue to run with all its might within this turbulent, interconnected world in order to evolve even more as a sustainable city and become the driving force revitalizing a Japan that is in dire circumstances. By continuing to run we will carve a bright future for Tokyo and Japan. It is with that strong determination that we will strongly push forward policies to create the new Tokyo. And this will be done with a positive mindset. I ask for the understanding and cooperation of the members of the Assembly and the citizens of Tokyo.
Including the matters to which I have already referred, a total of 40 proposals have been presented to this regular session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, including 17 proposed ordinances and 7 proposed contracts, to be deliberated among the Assembly members.
This concludes my policy address to the Assembly. Thank you.