Business leader talks up Kansai

JIJI

The Kansai region should become an important hub for the nation’s political, administrative and economic activities along with Tokyo, Shosuke Mori, chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren), has said.

In the runup to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a number of infrastructure development projects are expected to be completed in the capital.

“In order to prevent Tokyo from being the center for everything, Kansai needs to become another engine of Japan,” Mori, chairman of Kansai Electric Power Co., said in a recent interview.

In its future vision for 2020, the federation said it will strive to make Kansai a part of Japan’s “dual engine” and a major hub in Asia.

Mori stressed the need to make Japan stronger to prepare for more natural disasters that may strike the metropolitan area.

“It is essential to build a nation with multistructures,” he said.

Innovation based on Kansai’s strengths is key to achieving such a goal, Mori said. He also expressed hope that the region will become a government-designated “tokku” special economic zone with fewer regulations, and that Kankeiren will strengthen its ties with local companies and research institutions in drug development and other medical areas.