Biz leaders laud choice


Japanese business circles welcomed the election Monday of Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda as leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and urged the incoming prime minister to swiftly takes measures to revitalize the economy.

“Mr. Noda is a stable leader, well-versed in taxation, finance and social security policies, and with Japanese politics facing difficult times, (his election) is heartening,” said Keidanren Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura, who heads the influential business lobby.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Yonekura called on Noda, 54, to form a strong Cabinet and proceed with rebuilding areas devastated by the March 11 disasters. He also hinted the group might tolerate the tax hikes Noda has proposed to finance the rebuilding effort.

“I think it’s necessary for the nation as a whole, including companies, to shoulder the burden,” Yonekura said.

Other business bodies also urged swift political action on reconstruction, calling on the ruling party to unite and work on bridging its differences with the opposition parties.

“With the state of Japan under crisis, there is no room for delays in policy measures,” said Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives.

With the opposition in control of the Upper House, Hasegawa said Noda will have to work with the opposition to address the nation’s worst postwar crisis.

Fujitsu Ltd. President Masami Yamamoto said in a statement that he hopes Noda will display strong leadership in shoring up the damage from the catastrophe and in dealing with the strong yen’s debilitating effect on exporters.