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Business leaders voice hope for strong leadership from new Japan PM.

TOKYO, June 4 Kyodo

Japanese business leaders on Friday welcomed the speedy election of Naoto Kan as Japan's new prime minister and urged him to exercise strong leadership and swiftly rebuild the government to tackle various challenges, especially the nation's economy.

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, known as Nippon Keidanren, said in a written statement, ''I hope under the leadership of Prime Minister Kan, the government and ruling parties will unite and secure solid trust at home and abroad (for the new government).''

The chief of Japan's most influential business group noted that as finance minister, Kan has been very keen to implement drastic fiscal and tax reforms, and steps to pull the country out of deflation.

''I want (him) to boldly tackle (reform) and achieve it,'' Yonekura said, adding that Keidanren, for its part, will provide ''utmost cooperation.''

Tadashi Okamura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, voiced hope in a separate statement that the new prime minister will find a ''breakthrough in this difficult time.''

But Okamura also reminded Kan that his Cabinet should ''seriously take to heart that it bears an even greater responsibility'' and called on it to focus on handling the economy amid continuing deflation.

''While the economy is steadily showing signs of improvement, the recovery is yet to be felt in local economies and among small- and mid-sized companies,'' Okamura said.

Masamitsu Sakurai, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, known as Keizai Doyukai, urged Kan to first allay the distrust of the public and the international community when he makes his first policy speech.

In his statement, Sakurai called on Kan to explain to the public what he will retain from the previous administration of Yukio Hatoyama and what he will change.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jun 7, 2010
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