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NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. union leaders Friday criticized Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda for openly supporting the Liberal Democratic Party in last Sunday’s general election.

“It is not a good option for a company to take a political stance,” Toshihiro Kato, vice chairman of the Federation of All Toyota Worker’s Unions, said during a news conference. Toyota “should think how (its) workers and others will be affected, if the top leader shows a clear political position.”

In the House of Representatives election, the LDP won in nine of 15 single-seat constituencies in the prefecture.

In the previous general election, in 2003, the Democratic Party of Japan, backed by Toyota’s labor unions, won in 10 single-seat constituencies.

The top domestic automaker once distanced itself from politics, but its support for the LDP was clear during campaigning for the House of Representatives election.

Okuda announced that as chief of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), a leading business lobby, he would support Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s reforms.

President Katsuaki Watanabe and other Toyota executives campaigned on behalf of LDP candidates across Aichi Prefecture, where the automaker is based.

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