Unless appropriate action is taken, the nation’s economy may take another downturn, the head of the Japan Federation of Employers’ Associations (Nikkeiren) said Thursday.

“The three problems of low economic growth, high unemployment and budget deficits that face most developed countries are deepening in Japan at an accelerating pace,” said Nikkeiren Chairman Jiro Nemoto in an opening speech to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary.

“With the uncertainty over Asian economies lingering, and the United States economy expected to slow down in the latter half of this year, Japan may slip into a double-dip recession if our country’s economic management fails,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the nation’s rising unemployment rate, which is now close to 4 percent, adding that it is still unclear which direction the rate will take in the future.

In marking its 50th anniversary, Nemoto said that Nikkeiren should place priority on improving the nation’s quality of life by dealing with employment and other policy issues such as tax cuts, rather than focusing on wage increases.

Nikkeiren was established on April 12, 1948, by a group of employers who wished to establish orderly and harmonious labor-management relations during the nation’s recovery from the ravages of World War II.

He stressed that the organization has contributed greatly to Japan’s economic growth in the postwar period by playing an important role in dealing with wage increase issues with labor unions. But Japan’s wages have already reached the highest level in the world, and it will be difficult to further increase that level, he added.

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