JFIR monthly organizes a "Foreign Policy Briefing" meeting, former "Foreign Policy Breakfast" meeting renamed, to provide an occasion for members of JFIR to meet in an informal and confidential manner with senior officials of the Japanese Government and/or other experts and specialists in fields related to international relations. The 211th "Foreign Policy Briefing" meeting entitled "View of World Economy in the Future" was held on 18 February 2009. Prof. ITOH Motoshige, Dean of Graduate School of Economics at the University of Tokyo and President of National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA), presented his views as follows.
In the current economic crisis, the problems have originated from not only the financial sector but also from the structural change of the world economy. There are three reasons for this. The first is declining birthrate and a growing proportion of elderly people of advanced countries, the second is worldwide "Huge Idle Money" (short in demand) as the result of this phenomenon and the third is the IT bubble after IT changed the distribution business and the finance industry. As for Japan, it is important to foster a new leading industry in place of manufacturing which has excessively focused on the automobile and electrical industry in the past. There is a possibility of a new industry in fields such as medical service, child care, environment, and food and agriculture. For such a purpose, it is important to increase the rate of consumption tax and to use its revenue in order to generate a new demand and a new industry in the future.