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Japan biz leaders emphasize importance of Japan-U.S. relations

Tokyo, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s business leaders emphasized the significance of the Japan-U.S. relations and free trade in their statements issued Saturday following Donald Trump’s inauguration as new U.S. president in Washington Friday.

In his statement, Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said that the United States is “the most important partner for Japan” and that Japan “needs to maintain and further develop relations with the country from now on.”

Akio Mimura, head of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, voiced worries over protectionist trade policies of the Trump administration, which upon the inauguration said the United States will exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“These protectionist policies will shake the free trade system, which has been underpinning global economic expansion,” Mimura said.

Meanwhile, Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chief of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai, said that the Japanese government “should tout the importance of free trade and economic partnerships.”

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