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Interview

Don't kill the economy over the coronavirus, Uniqlo chief says

Yanai warns of long-lasting side effects to halting business operations

Fast Retailing CEO Tadashi Yanai urges companies to devise creative solutions to keep the economic ticking amid the pandemic. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Business management is like reading a book backward, Fast Retailing Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai once said, underscoring the value of knowing the conclusion first before deciding what must be done to get there. That philosophy may be informing his outlook in navigating the repercussions from the coronavirus pandemic.

The global economy must not shut down completely as governments work to contain the outbreak, Yanai told Nikkei in a recent interview, warning that doing so will make a recovery longer and more painful.

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