Japanese businesses urge active policy debate in run-up to election


japantoday-  Business leaders in Japan are calling for vigorous policy debate between the ruling and opposition parties as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida dissolved the House of Representatives for a general election.

“I would like each political party to firmly present major differences (in their policies) and make clear how to finance and shoulder the burden” of implementing such policies, said Kengo Sakurada, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives.

Stressing the lower house election — set for Oct 31 — is an opportunity for the public to choose a new government, Sakurada asked Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party and other parties to “come up with a long-term outlook for fiscal reconstruction” given that all the parties are advocating tax cuts and the expansion of cash benefits in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Masakazu Tokura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, Japan’s most influential business lobby also known as Keidanren, expressed the group’s unequivocal support for the LDP.

“We highly value Mr Kishida’s vision of a ‘new Japanese capitalism'” focusing on growth and distribution, he said. “I look forward to the continuation of stable politics led by the LDP.”

The association, the federation and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been calling for the Kishida government to take concrete measures to accelerate digitalization and achieve carbon neutrality as it moves to normalize pandemic-hit economic and social activities while preventing a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections.