Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday confirmed that the head of the nation’s most powerful business lobby and the incoming president of brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd. will join the government’s key economic advisory panel.
Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Keidanren (the Japan Business Federation), and Suntory chief Takeshi Niinami will join University of Tokyo professor Motoshige Ito and Susumu Takahashi, head of the Japan Research Institute, as the other two private-sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.
The announcement about the advisory panel came two days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his Cabinet, which will have several important decisions to make toward the end of the year, including whether to proceed with the second stage of the consumption tax hike to 10 percent.
Gross domestic product shrank an annualized real 6.8 percent in the April-June quarter, falling at its fastest pace since the March 2011 disasters, after the first stage of the tax rate hike took place in April, raising it to 8 percent.
Norio Sasaki, vice chairman of Toshiba Corp., and Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, president of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp., are leaving the council.