• Kyodo

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Business leaders have urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to accelerate economic reforms in the light of the ruling coalition’s Lower House election win on Sunday.

“We hope it will promote further reforms, including enhancing the ‘third arrow,’ and thereby restore the Japanese economy,” Yasuchika Hasegawa, who heads the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, said in a statement released on Sunday night.

The “third arrow” refers to one of three components of the prime minister’s so-called “Abenomics” stimulus measures. Abe has touted monetary easing and fiscal stimulus as the first and second arrows, respectively.

The third arrow involves structural reforms aimed at improving the global competitiveness of Japanese firms as well and other measures to attract more foreign investment to Japan. But such measures have so far been tepid, and investors argue more definitive action is needed.

Hasegawa said the outcome of the Lower House poll would strengthen Abe’s political standing. He also said Abe should redouble his efforts to realize “fundamental structural reforms,” particularly in the medical and agricultural sectors.

Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called for swift implementation of Abe’s main policies of revitalizing regional economies and rebuilding areas damaged by the 2011 triple disaster.

Shigetaka Sato, chairman of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, underscored that the most urgent task facing Abe is re-energizing the economy.

The recent sharp fall in the value of the yen has hurt smaller businesses by raising import prices for energy and raw materials. The government is expected to finance fresh stimulus measures to ease help ease the burden.

“It is essential to focus entirely on economic expansion and fiscal restoration,” Sato said.

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