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New chief of Japan’s leading business lobby vows to beat deflation

TOKYO — Hiroaki Nakanishi, the incoming chairman of Japan’s most influential business lobby Keidanren, said Tuesday he will make all-out efforts to revitalize the country’s deflation-hit economy.


“Now is the time to take a huge step forward and start a new economic cycle, including exiting from deflation,” Nakanishi, who will start heading the lobby in May, told a press conference in Tokyo.


Nakanishi, however, did not elaborate on how best to beat Japan’s chronic deflation, when he spoke to the media with Sadayuki Sakakibara, the current chief of the organization, also known as the Japanese Business Federation.


Nakanishi, 71, said he wants to coordinate well with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration like “two wheels of a vehicle,” adding, “(A car) cannot move with one (wheel).”


Nakanishi also said the business lobby needs to closely work on nuclear policy with the Japanese government.


“It’s an industry that cannot exist without the involvement of the government,” said Nakanishi, chairman of Hitachi Ltd., a major nuclear company.


Last year, Hitachi applied for a site license to construct nuclear power plants in Britain, aiming for the start of operation from the first half of the 2020s.


Abe’s government believes increasing exports of Japan’s advanced technologies, including those related to nuclear, can be one of the important pillars of its growth strategy.


The appointment of Nakanishi, who has been serving as vice chair of the federation since 2014, was approved at its board of councilors last month.


He will be formally given the post at Keidanren’s general meeting on May 31, replacing the 74-year-old Sakakibara, senior adviser at Toray Industries Inc.

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