Keidanren-Nikkeiren tieup scheduled for May 2002 start

The Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) and the Japan Federation of Employers Associations (Nikkeiren) have agreed on the name of the new body that will be formed when they merge in 2002, business sources said Tuesday.

The merged group will be called the Japan Business Federation. Its first chairman will most likely be Hiroshi Okuda, the current Nikkeiren chairman, who is also chairman of Toyota Motor Corp., they said.

The name will be announced as early as Wednesday, together with factors to be written in the group’s statutes such as its philosophy and the number of vice chairmen, they added.

The new group will be a nonprofit organization, with Keidanren, a corporation, being the surviving organization absorbing Nikkeiren, a private group, the sources said.

At present Keidanren and Nikkeiren have 12 vice presidents each, but the number will be cut to 10 to 15 for the new organization.

The two groups plan to merge gradually from May 2001, with the merger completed by May 2002, they added.

The new group’s core principle will be the advocacy of human rights, and it will aim to further support the nation’s business sector, they said.

Keidanren has traditionally dedicated itself to making recommendations to the government on political and economic policies. Nikkeiren has been concerned mostly with corporate management and labor issues.