The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) called on Liberal Democratic Party leaders Wednesday to push ahead with economic and financial reforms.

“I want reforms to be continued without pause,” Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the country’s most influential business lobby, said at a meeting with executives of the ruling party.

The group also demanded that the party work harder to improve the country’s shaky finances by securing quick passage of the government’s administrative reform bill, which calls for a cut of 5 percent or more in the number of central government employees.

LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe told Okuda and other top Keidanren officials the party will do its best to ease public anxiety over the future of the country.

“Despite a rise in stock prices and a pickup in corporate earnings, concerns are growing among the public over the falling birthrate and the aging population, as well as the future of local and central government finances,” Takebe said.

LDP policy chief Hidenao Nakagawa, who also attended the meeting, said the government will “cut wasteful spending. Otherwise, it will be impossible to carry out reform in revenues.”

Nakagawa reiterated that a consumption tax increase is premised on a major cut in expenditures.

Earlier this month, Keidanren released a report stressing the need to raise the consumption tax in stages to 10 percent from the current 5 percent to put Japan’s fiscal house in order, while curbing increasing social security costs and tax grants to local governments.

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