November 14, 2017

Kathy Matsui ’90, Chief Equity Strategist, Goldman Sachs Japan
Moderated by John Lipsky, Peter G. Peterson Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute

Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs Japan visited the school to discuss the effects of "Abenomics" and "Womenomics" on economic growth in Japan. Prime Minister Abe’s reform program has successfully spurred GDP growth, and domestic demand levels in Japan are on the rise, Matsui said. The structural reform has also addressed corporate governance, and companies in Japan have seen an increase in independent, outside directors. 

Matsui contended that one area Japan could still improve upon is to invest more in productivity-enhancing capital spending, such as tools to automate business processes. On the topic of Womenomics, Matsui mentioned that 1.5 million full- and part-time jobs have been created for women since 2013—a huge success for Abe’s reform agenda. It has been demonstrated that companies with women on their executive boards experience higher return on equity, and Matsui advocated for more diversity within Japanese companies. Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow John Lipsky pressed for additional details about how Japan can continue to reverse demographic issues that are slowing growth. Matsui mentioned that a major factor in addressing sluggish growth will be to restore Japanese citizens’ confidence in the future. 

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