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Biz leaders pin high hopes on Suga’s govt

Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press)–Japanese business leaders voiced their hopes for new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration, which was launched on Wednesday, calling for, among other things, digital innovations and measures to boost Japanese companies’ competitiveness.

 

Although the yen weakened and stock prices rose under the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country’s potential economic growth rate has been staying below 1 pct.

 

Japanese steelmakers and electronics producers are seeing their earnings deteriorate amid fierce competition with Chinese and South Korean rivals.

 

Automakers are experiencing sales slumps globally while facing the need to make massive investment to develop autonomous driving and other cutting-edge technologies.

 

“I want the new administration to promote social innovations through bold regulatory reforms and the digitization of entire society,” Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said.

 

“Japan needs to aggressively promote digital transformation through nationwide efforts,” said Shigeki Ishizuka, chairman of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association.

 

Akio Toyoda, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and president of Toyota Motor Corp. <7203>, said that he wants the Suga government to reduce tax burdens on car owners and take other measures to improve the auto industry’s competitiveness further.

 

Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Eiji Hashimoto said, “I hope the Suga administration will implement measures to help steelmakers and other manufacturers regain their competitiveness.”

 

Meanwhile, Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the government needs to provide various support measures for small firms struggling to continue their operations and maintain jobs amid the coronavirus crisis.

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