Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto should step down to take responsibility for mismanagement of the nation’s economic policy, a deputy chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) said April 20.

Seiji Tsutsumi, chairman of Saison Corp., told reporters that in his opinion Hashimoto’s policy has proved a failure and his economic judgment is far from reality.

“It is obvious that the market has been giving a vote of no-confidence to Japanese politics. Politicians must respond to this in some way,” said Tsutsumi, who will step down as Doyukai’s deputy chairman after Wednesday’s general meeting.

Due to the prolonged economic slump, many business leaders in Japan have been urging the government to adopt a bold economic policy to stimulate the economy. Tsutsumi, as head of Doyukai’s committee on politics, also disclosed the body’s proposal on political donations and urged the government to increase the “transparency” of how political funds are used. He also called for the abolishment of corporate donations, saying their role has faded.

According to the proposal, the necessary costs politicians face should be covered by political parties’ membership fees, individual donations and subsidies. During the Cold War, corporate donations were provided to protect Japan’s market economy from socialism, but this no longer poses a threat, the group said.

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