The new chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) has urged the government to swiftly resolve the nation’s conflict with its Asian neighbors over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

Canon Inc. Chairman Fujio Mitarai, 70, who took the helm of Japan’s most powerful business lobby Wednesday, said in a recent interview that only with sound ties with China and South Korea can Japan concentrate on its most important task of creating technological and social innovations.

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