Biz leaders urge creation of reliable Cabinet

Kyodo News

The chief of Japan’s most influential business lobby called Wednesday for an early establishment of a new responsible administration, following Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s announcement to resign.

“I want (the ruling parties) to quickly establish a new administration capable of securing confidence at home and abroad by maintaining solidarity,” Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), said.

“I think it was a painful decision (for Hatoyama), as he has devoted all his energy into creating a new Japan,” he said.

Tadashi Okamura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also issued a comment seeking the immediate creation of a new administration. It also noted that Japan faces a host of domestic and international challenges that require speedy responses by the government.

“The government is not allowed to delay its response, even for a moment,” Okamura said, calling on the next leader to quickly draw up and implement measures to achieve economic growth and fiscal health.

The resignation announcement came amid the severe business environment surrounding export-dependent manufacturers, including auto and consumer electronics makers, which have taken a blow from the yen’s appreciation amid fears over the deceleration of the euro-zone economy.

An official at a manufacturing firm said, “I deplore the fact that the political community has created confusion at a time when the world economy is going through an unstable phase.”

An executive at a major steelmaker called on the ruling coalition to choose as the next prime minister “a person who can have a reliable dialogue with the public and the business community.”

Shigeo Sato, chairman of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government “is not allowed to create a political vacuum and confusion, now that Japan is confronting mountains of urgent domestic and diplomatic problems.”

Hiroshi Shimozuma, chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation, said, “I am concerned that public confidence in politics may be swayed by the resignation of Prime Minister Hatoyama, who was swept to power by Japanese people’s high expectations.”