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Service Productivity & Innovation for Growth (The Prime Minister in Action) | Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet

The Prime Minister in Action |
Service Productivity & Innovation for Growth

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)
Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)
[Provisional Translation]
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the 1st meeting of Service Productivity & Innovation for Growth (SPRING) at the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the meeting, a report was made on examples of initiatives from each sector.
Taking into account the report from the meeting, the Prime Minister said,
“Today, business owners, representatives of business organizations, and their supporters, from every corner of Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, have gathered here at the Prime Minister’s Office, despite their busy schedules. I am honored to have the opportunity to directly experience your energy.
With consumer spending expected to recover following wage increases, the next great task for Abenomics is to address Japan’s labor shortage. The only way to accomplish this task is by raising productivity. Above all, the service industry, which employs about 70% of Japan’s workforce, has the potential to drastically increase productivity. Now is precisely the time to usher in a “service productivity revolution.” Today’s first meeting of SPRING is expected to become the base for this grand national movement.
The need for raising productivity in the service industry has been pointed out for many years, but efforts have not been very successful up to this point. As I spoke about earlier, we must be thankful that, depending on one’s perspective, the service industry has great potential for the future, and that this potential has been handed down to us. However, raising productivity is also a very difficult task. The service industry is very diverse, and cannot be grouped into a single category. This means that productivity improvement policies must be tailored to each individual segment. Therefore, we have initiated a structure for supporting the entire service industry, both publicly and privately, by meticulously breaking it down into each segment, including retail, restaurant businesses, accommodations, nursing care, and transportation. This can be viewed as the first step of a truly all-Japan national movement.
Today, we received a report containing specific examples of applying manufacturing industry’s “Kaizen” (improvement activities) to the service industry, and how the use of IT, big data and facilities helped to dramatically increase sales in the restaurant business, accommodations, and retail segments, as well as lower the burden of employees. New initiatives are also underway in the nursing care service and truck transport segments, although due to time constraints, were unable to hear the reports today.
To widely disseminate these progressive initiatives and realize productivity improvements in each segment, I would like SPRING to thoroughly discuss matters and link discussions with actual ‘visualization’ of services, ‘standardization,’ and ‘enhancing customer value.’
SPRING’s first meeting was held today, on June 18, 2015. I would like everyone to inscribe this date in your memory as the day that the service industry revolution began, or the day that will be remembered by the people of Japan, and by all those who are involved in the service industry. Even if people forget who the Prime Minister was at the time, I would like 6.18 to be remembered as the day Japan’s service industry changed. To ensure this comes to fruition, I will take the lead of this national movement, so I ask that the business owners and others with us here today demonstrate leadership by taking the lead in your individual segments. Let’s work together and give our utmost efforts.”




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