The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) unveiled a 10-point policy priority list Thursday for member firms to use to gauge how political parties pursue reforms, including a corporate tax cut and consumption tax hike.

Japan’s most influential business lobby released the list as a guide to member companies being encouraged to make donations to the parties.

Nippon Keidanren announced in May it will resume moves to push its 1,300 member firms to provide political donations — a practice that was halted in 1994 after a spate of corruption scandals led to the Liberal Democratic Party’s brief fall from power.

Nippon Keidanren will evaluate the performance of each party by the end of this year.

“We hope that member companies that have not made political donations will understand (the list’s) significance and start donations” on the basis of its evaluations, said Kenji Miyahara, a vice chairman of Nippon Keidanren who heads its business and politics committee.

One key goal is tax reform, which Nippon Keidanren hopes would revitalize the economy and increase Japan’s international competitiveness.

The group hopes the corporate tax will be lowered by 5 to 10 percentage points from the current 40.87 percent so it matches levels in major European countries.

The list also calls for social security system reforms that would erase the public’s anxiety over the future.

Nippon Keidanren wants a plan drawn up by March to create a sustainable social security system.

It also wants the current 5 percent consumption tax raised to 10 percent by fiscal 2007 at the latest.

The organization also wants more women and elderly people to be encouraged to find jobs and foreigners with special expertise to be allowed to work in Japan.

The list also calls for:

Regulatory reforms.

Development of advanced science and technologies.

Energy security and environment-protection strategies.

Educational reforms.

Development of more attractive urban areas and housing.

Decentralization measures.

Promotion of trade and investment strategies.

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