Business leaders expressed hopes Friday that the June 25 election will produce a stable administration that is ready to wrestle with medium- and long-term structural reforms and achieve sustainable economic recovery.
They also called on politicians not to postpone fiscal, social welfare and other reforms once the election is over. The House of Representatives was dissolved Friday for a general election on June 25.
“Making the economy ride on a self-sustaining recovery path must be given priority,” Takashi Imai, chairman of the nation’s biggest business lobby, the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), said in a statement.
Hiroshi Okuda, head of the Japan Federation of Employers’ Associations (Nikkeiren), agreed that a stable administration will be needed to soberly advance reforms to achieve a sustainable recovery.
The head of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), Yotaro Kobayashi, said the upcoming election “is the last chance to test whether Japan will be able to change and build a new country in the 21st century.”
“Voters recognize they will have to shoulder more (of the burden) if reforms are delayed further. We hope each political party will propose concrete policies . . . even if they are tough choices,” he said.
Kosaku Inaba, head of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, voiced his hope that the election campaign will focus on a debate of policies and not be manipulated by party interests and politics.
Inaba said he cannot be positive about the economy, due chiefly to the serious problems facing small and medium-size companies.
Mitsubishi Corp. President Mikio Sasaki said the next administration should proceed with fiscal structural reform while rebuilding the economy.
Hiroyuki Yoshino, president of Honda Motor Co., intimated fears that the election will adversely affect his economy, while Morihiko Tashiro, president of trading house Tomen Corp., was cool toward the whole process. “Honestly speaking, I have little expectations from politics,” he said. “Only our own efforts (can make a difference).”