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Biz leaders seek digital transformation policies

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The heads of three major business lobbies pinned hopes Wednesday on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new Cabinet to work on policies that will promote digital transformation.

The heads stressed that digital transformation is crucial for the continuing growth of the Japanese economy. They also urged the Abe administration to work seriously on fiscal reconstruction and social security reform, seen as pressing issues for Japan.

On the reshuffled Cabinet, Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said in a statement that Abe has picked “a powerful lineup, with many policy mavens positioned” as members.

He expressed expectations for the new Cabinet “to work boldly” on growth strategies centered around the realization of the Keidanren-proposed Society 5.0, which aims to resolve social issues through digital transformation, and on reforms to create a social security system for all generations.

Kengo Sakurada, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, or Keizai Doyukai, emphasized in a separate statement that fiscal rehabilitation is an urgent task for Japan.

“There is a need for everyone to share the burden,” Sakurada noted, and called on the Cabinet to present detailed options on social security reform and offer open discussions.

Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in another statement that a sense of uncertainty for the world economy continues to grow, reflecting growing risks of an economic slowdown stemming from the U.S.-China trade war, Britain’s exit from the European Union, deteriorating ties between Japan and South Korea and other factors. “I hope that the new Cabinet exercises strong leadership with a firm will to maintain and expand a multilateral, free and open trade system, while working together with countries that share the same way of thinking,” Mimura added.

Meanwhile, Akio Toyoda, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, asked for Cabinet support on bolstering the Japanese automobile industry’s competitiveness over the medium to long term, by addressing the country’s taxation system and easing regulations with an eye on the future.Speech

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