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Keidanren UPDATE1
[January 14, 2014]

Keidanren UPDATE1

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Jan. 14 -- (Kyodo) _ (EDS: UPDATING, ADDING INFO) Keidanren announced Tuesday it has decided to appoint Toray Industries Inc. Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara as the next chief of Japan's most influential business lobby.

Sakakibara, who will take over from Hiromasa Yonekura in June, said earlier in the day he will do his utmost to help ensure the revitalization of the Japanese economy, telling Kyodo News, "The business community and the government should cooperate as two wheels (of the same axle)" under the Abenomics policy mix of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"The voices of businesses need to be delivered properly," Sakakibara said, indicating Keidanren under his leadership will actively lobby on various issues, including corporate tax cuts.

The appointment was approved at a chairman and vice chairmen's meeting earlier in the day. Sakakibara, 70, will be formally appointed to the post at Keidanren's general meeting on June 3 after approval at an executive meeting in May, the business lobby said.

"Though an economic recovery continues to take place thanks to Abenomics, the path to overcoming deflation and economic revival is only halfway," Yonekura told a news conference in Tokyo.

"In order to restore a powerful Japan, we need to accelerate the growth strategy and to steadily realize a virtuous cycle of the economy," Yonekura said, adding that Keidanren has to take the lead in creating an opportunity for new growth and employment.

Yonekura said Sakakibara is "the most suitable person" to be his successor, taking into account such factors as his excellent management skills, vast experience in business circles as well as global fields, and his emphasis on innovation.

Sakakibara served as vice chairman of Keidanren from 2007 to 2011. It is rare for a former vice chairman to be selected as Keidanren leader, as the federation usually elevates serving vice chairmen.

Sakakibara joined Toray in 1967 after graduating from Nagoya University's graduate school of engineering. Sakakibara was appointed president of the major fiber and textile maker in 2002, before becoming chairman in 2010.

He also serves as a private-sector member of the government's council to boost Japan's industrial competitiveness.

(c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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