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Japan has pushed deregulation forward during the past four years, but there is still more to be done, said Shoichiro Toyoda, outgoing chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), at his final Keidanren press conference Tuesday.

On May 26, Takashi Imai, a former president of Nippon Steel Corp. who serves as Keidanren vice chairman, will take Toyoda’s post. “We have made quite a few achievements, but it is not enough. We have more things to do,” said Toyoda, who has been calling for deregulation, administrative reform and corporate tax reform during his four-year tenure.

Toyoda said the state of the Japanese economy is the one thing that has seriously concerned him during the past four years, and that as head of Japan’s major economic organization, he strongly hopes for an economic recovery. “The yen rate is currently 135 to the dollar, which marks the lowest level in four years, while the Nikkei Stock average has also dropped to its lowest level of around 15,500,” said Toyoda. “I was hoping that the Japanese economy would gain vitality,” he said.

Toyoda succeeded Gaishi Hiraiwa, former chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co., to become Keidanren chairman in May 1994, and listed reform, creativity and trust as his key policy words for guiding the powerful business lobby.

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