• Kyodo News


Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), denied Monday that the Democratic Party of Japan’s major setback at the polls Sunday should be blamed on Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s reference to a hike in the consumption tax.

“Kan’s explanation on a possible hike in the consumption tax wasn’t enough, but his party’s setback wasn’t attributable to it,” the head of the nation’s most influential business lobby said.

Yonekura said voters evaluated policies implemented by the party before Kan raised the issue of the consumption tax, referring to the twists and turns over the relocation of the Futenma military base in Okinawa under Kan’s predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama.

On the Liberal Democratic Party’s overwhelming wins in single-seat districts, Yonekura said the LDP’s buildup of its local organizations since last fall contributed to the results.

He also called on the ruling and opposition parties to cooperate on fiscal reform and other issues as the DPJ camp failed to gain an overall majority in the Upper House.

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