Japan’s new business lobby chief pledges better China ties

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The newly appointed head of Japan’s top business lobby has said he wants to play a greater role in helping the country improve its badly frayed relations with China.

Sadayuki Sakakibara was formally appointed as chairman of Keidanren — the Japan Business Federation — at the annual meeting of the influential group in the world’s third-largest economy.

“For Keidanren, relations particularly with the neighbouring countries of China and South Korea are important,” he told the meeting.

“Improving ties with China and South Korea is one of the lobby’s top agenda.”

The 71-year-old chairman of synthetic materials maker Toray told local media that Japan Inc’s environmental technologies could help ease tense diplomatic ties with China, its biggest trade partner.

“China really wants (Japanese environmental technologies),” he said, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Japan’s relations with China and South Korea have been badly strained by emotional territorial disputes and bitter memories of Japanese soldiers’ atrocities in Asia before and during World War II.

Those already chilly diplomatic relationships got colder after the nationalist Shinzo Abe became Japan’s prime minister in late 2012.

Big business has generally welcomed Abe, with his domestic emphasis on trying to kickstart the slumbering economy.

Sakakibara pledged the business lobby “will work with the political side even more closely than before in order to reconstruct Japan.

“Keidanren will further strengthen the partnership with politics and express constructive opinions, making our utmost effort to build a strong Japan, a strong economy.”

His predecessor Hiromasa Yonekura once criticised Abe’s unconventional and aggressive monetary policies as “reckless”, shortly before the Liberal Democratic Party leader took office.

Abe’s economic programmes remain controversial, not least because they have added yet more debt onto Japan’s staggering pile of IOUs.

However, they have markedly perked up corporate confidence and consumption, driven up Japanese shares and lowered the value of the yen, giving a boost to exporters.

“Stock prices are going up and the yen’s appreciation has been corrected. Now we are seeing a way forward to get out of deflation that has haunted Japan for a long time,” Sakakibara told reporters after the Tuesday meeting.

“We, from the entire economic sector, highly praise the path the Abe government has taken in the past year and a half.”

A package of reforms to areas such as employment law, aimed at making life easier for the business community, is also expected.

Sakakibara has reiterated the lobby group’s call to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent, from the top effective rate of 35.64 per cent in metropolitan Tokyo, to spur growth, according to the Nikkei.

And he voiced support for tentative government plans to raise consumption tax to 10 per cent in October 2015 as scheduled, major media said.

The tax went up from five percent to eight percent in April, to cheers from economists who said it was desperately needed if Japan was to get its fiscal house in order.

Abe has given himself until the end of this year to decide whether to raise the tax to 10 per cent.






Source : Channel News Asia | June 3, 2014


About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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