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Leaders of the nation’s three major business groups on Monday welcomed the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, expressing their hope for accelerating structural reforms.

Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), described the new Cabinet as filled with “experienced politicians and highly motivated young lawmakers.”

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Koizumi, (the whole Liberal Democratic Party) should unite in pushing forward reforms to fully revitalize the economy,” he said in a prepared statement.

Okuda said Nippon Keidanren will support the Cabinet by proposing national economic measures.

Nobuo Yamaguchi, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the new Cabinet should put top priority on measures to turn around the sluggish economy.

“As the nation is showing bright signs of economic recovery, this situation should not be set back,” he said in a statement. “We hope (the Cabinet) will allocate enough spending to overcome deflation and turn the economy around while promoting structural reforms such as deregulation and tax reform.”

Kakutaro Kitashiro, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), said he expects the new Cabinet to carry out Koizumi’s reforms more strongly.

“I think that Prime Minister Koizumi was re-elected (as LDP president) because his reforms are supported by (a majority of) party members,” Kitashiro said at a news conference. “It would be difficult for Cabinet members to oppose his policy.”

He also called on the LDP to provide a “manifesto” of policy promises that include a concrete schedule for reform as a House of Representatives election is expected for November.

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