Keidanren [Japan Business Federation] has decided on its choices of four vice chairmen. East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) President Tetsuro Tomita, 66, JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy President Tsutomu Sugimori, 62, and two other business executives will be named to fill these positions. A meeting is scheduled on Feb. 13 to confirm the nomination of chairman and vice chairmen, who will assume their positions after approval by the annual convention in late May. They will cooperate with the administration to promote the economic growth strategy and fiscal restructuring in the quest to end deflation.
Tokio Marine Holdings Chairman Shuzo Sumi, 70, and ANA Holdings President Shinya Katanozaka, 62, will also be appointed as vice chairmen.
Hitachi Ltd. Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi and Nomura Holdings Chairman Nobuyuki Koga have already been named unofficially as the next Keidanren chairman and chair of the Board of Councillors, respectively. The appointment of the vice chairmen will complete the leadership lineup.
NTT President Hiroo Unoura and JXTG Holdings President Yasushi Kimura will step down as vice chairmen after their term ends.
JR East is vigorously promoting the export of infrastructure. It also has strong connections with the government and the ruling parties. Its adviser Mutsutake Otsuka chairs Keidanren’s Committee on Political Affairs, which handles relations with politicians.
JXTG’s Sugimori is expected to take charge of energy and environment issues. Energy is one of the top priority issues of new Chairman Nakanishi. In addition to promoting nuclear power generation, he is expected to work for the popularization of renewable energies.
Sumi from Tokio Marine Holdings is currently responsible for policies to tackle low birth rate and child-rearing support, which are key issues for the administration. He is expected to continue to play this role.
ANA Holdings’ Katanozaka was chosen for his skills in economic diplomacy based on his extensive international connections thanks to the expansion of the airline’s international services. He is currently chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.