To reflect broader business opinions on the nation’s industrial policy planning, the government will ask nonmanufacturers to participate in ongoing meetings of its joint advisory panel with the private sector, trade chief Kaoru Yosano said Tuesday.

In response to criticism that the Competitiveness Commission is placing too much emphasis on major manufacturers and heavy industries, Yosano stressed the need for the government to listen to the voices of the services and distribution sectors as well as smaller businesses and new enterprises.

“As a matter of course, (the government) should make arrangements for the Competitiveness Commission to reflect opinions of the distribution and service industries and minor enterprises to a significant degree,” Yosano told Tuesday’s regular news conference.

The Competitive Commission was established in March by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to combat excess capacity created during the bubble economy of the late 1980s, bringing together 17 top business executives as commission members.

While stressing the need for the government to prevent such industrial competitiveness-boosting efforts from triggering social unrest in the workforce, Yosano reiterated that the private sector should be granted the initiative in facilitating labor mobility to avoid a further deterioration of the job situation.

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