OSAKA — Amid growing calls that there are too many economic organizations, the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren) announced July 14 that it will step up cooperation with the Kansai Committee for Economic Development (Kansai Keizai Doyukai) in the area of decentralizing government functions.

Kankeiren Chairman Yasuo Shingu criticized recommendations submitted last July 8 by an advisory panel to the prime minister to transfer administrative functions to local governments, saying the proposal does not mean much from the viewpoint of giving the initiative to local governments. “The administrative reform will not be realized unless the national government is ready to make clear a minimum role, instead of sticking to the idea of how much share of the central power it should give to the local governments,” he said.

Shingu said business groups in Kansai should work together more on this issue and present joint proposals if necessary, considering that the Kansai region has the largest responsibility to push for stronger regional autonomy. The two organizations’ committees on regional autonomy plan to send a joint mission to Europe as early as in the fall to study local taxation and fiscal systems and coordination among local governments, Shingu said.

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