Keidanren chief Sakakibara may be tapped for key policy panel

Kyodo

Sadayuki Sakakibara is likely to become the first Keidanren chief to sit on the government’s top economic policy panel in six years, sources close to the matter said.

The head of Japan’s most powerful business lobby is likely to be tapped as a private-sector member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy after his predecessor, Hiromasa Yonekura, was snubbed because he was critical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies, the sources said Friday.

Sakakibara, who became chairman of the business lobby in June, has expressed a desire to strengthen ties with the Abe administration, which has made defeating deflation the cornerstone of its economic policy, which is based mainly on drastic monetary easing by the Bank of Japan and vows of structural reform.

The council is expected to work closely with Keidanren and accelerate discussions on a corporate tax cut and plans to complete the doubling of the consumption tax to 10 percent.