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Biz leaders hail Abe, seek policy continuation by successor

Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)–Japanese business leaders on Friday gave high marks to the achievements outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made on the economic and diplomatic fronts, while expressing hopes that the next administration will follow the policies of the Abe government.


Abe’s active diplomacy “has markedly increased our country’s presence on the international arena,” Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the country’s biggest business lobby, said.


Abe “has prepared the ground” for Japan to resuscitate its economy and move toward overcoming deflation, said Akio Mimura, head of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


“I hope a new prime minister will be elected soon to continue pushing” policies taken by Abe, Nakanishi said, noting that the next administration will face critical challenges, such as containing the novel coronavirus and attaining economic recovery at the same time.


The next administration would need to adequately deal with the epidemic and build an economic and social system fit for “a new normal,” Kengo Sakurada, chief of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai, said.


Fujio Mitarai, president of major camera and office equipment maker Canon Inc. <7751>, showed hope that the next administration will take over the Abe government’s measures focusing on economic growth and employment.


Nobuaki Kurumatani, president of major machinery maker Toshiba Corp. <6502>, said that he wants the next administration to take appropriate measures to spur economic growth in the era of the novel coronavirus.


At a press conference, Rikio Kozu, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, praised the Abe government’s work style reform initiative, which has helped rectify long work hours, among other results.


At the same time, however, Kozu pointed out that the excessive influence of the prime minister’s office was a problem with the Abe government, saying that “it’s true that there were doubts about transparency and fairness” in politics and policies of the administration.


Abe, at a press conference Friday, announced his decision to resign as prime minister due to a worsening of his chronic ulcerative colitis, an intestinal disease.


Just on Monday, he became the longest-serving prime minister in Japan in terms of the number of consecutive days in office.

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