• Kyodo

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The nation’s business leaders on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new Cabinet to swiftly address economic reforms and growth strategy to get the economy out of decades of deflation.

Keidanren, also known as the Japan Business Federation, expressed hope that the Cabinet will promote economic partnerships with other countries, lower corporate taxes and secure stable energy supplies.

The country’s most powerful business lobby also called for another consumption tax hike, following the increase in April, and restoration of fiscal health among other challenges for the reshuffled Cabinet to deal with.

“We intend to fully cooperate” with the new Cabinet, Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara said in a statement.

“This is a Cabinet that we can expect to implement expected policies toward the second chapter of Japan’s economic revitalization,” he said.

Sakakibara added that getting the economy on a growth track is of prime importance “for the entire nation.”

Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, said it is crucial to push ahead with economic reforms, as Abe has pledged, along with corporations pursuing reforms on their own.

“It’s a heavyweight lineup deserving to be called a “reform-achieving Cabinet,” said Hasegawa, who is also chairman and chief executive officer of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said his business group hopes that Shigeru Ishiba, appointed as newly created minister in charge of overcoming population decline and economic revitalization, will exercise strong leadership by implementing drastic measures to maintain Japan’s economic strength in the future.

“I hope (the new Cabinet) will implement bold policies that extend across different government ministries and agencies,” Mimura said.

From the manufacturing industry, which is under heavy pressure from the recent rise in power prices, a senior official expressed hope that the new Cabinet will deal with restarting the nation’s nuclear power plants and energy reforms “diligently.”

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