• Kyodo

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The head of the nation’s most powerful business lobby indicated Thursday he strongly opposes legislation to raise the mandatory retirement age.

Such a move “ignores actual conditions of business management and the economy,” Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), said in a speech in Yamagata.

His comments followed recent remarks by labor minister Chikara Sakaguchi, who said the government will act to raise the mandatory retirement age at companies from 60 to 65 in line with a plan to hike the eligible age for corporate employees to start receiving pensions.

Sakaguchi said the government plans to submit a bill to revise the relevant laws to the Diet next year to achieve his proposal.

Though Okuda said he is “aware of the importance of extending the employment period” as the government seeks to hike the ages of corporate employees receiving pensions, he added, “such legislation is too early since the matter should be left to negotiations between labor unions and management.”

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