Japan’s business leaders hope for deeper ties with U.S.

Kyodo

Japan’s business leaders expressed hope Wednesday for deeper ties with the United States under the administration of re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama and also called on Washington to steer America away from the “fiscal cliff” looming at the end of the year.

“I sincerely congratulate President Obama on being re-elected,” Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren, said in a statement.

“I especially hope that (the United States) will continue to place emphasis on the Asia-Pacific strategy and further strengthen the Japan-U.S. relationship, which is the foundation of peace and stability for the region,” he added.

Yonekura also called on the United States to support Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations so the two countries can together play a leading role in creating new trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Tadashi Okamura urged Obama to try to avert the fiscal cliff — potential spending cuts and expiring tax reductions — expected early next year.

“The fiscal cliff would not only affect the U.S. economy but also have a big impact on the global economy, which is experiencing a slowing pace of recovery,” Okamura said in a statement.

Okamura said Japanese-U.S. ties are “extremely important” as the two countries share universal values and are mutually complementary.

“I hope that the cooperative ties between the two countries will deepen further for the stability and prosperity of the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, expressed hope that Obama works hand-in-hand with Congress to pursue economic growth goals, while urging Tokyo to boost ties with Washington.

“Further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance and deepening the mutual relationship with the United States as Japan’s most reliable partner will serve our country’s interests in the global society,” Hasegawa said.