Japan Business Leaders Urge Reform Debate Before Elections

Japan’s business leaders called for public discussion of austerity and other unpopular policies, including social security reform, during lower house election campaigning that kicked off Tuesday.

Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, said at a press conference that he hopes candidates will intensively debate social security reform as the issue was “untouched” during a televised debate of ruling and opposition party leaders Monday.

Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called on the parties to clarify their policies on fiscal consolidation.

“We hope (the parties) will discuss openly reforms that would be painful but serve the national interest,” he said in a statement.

Retailers, which have been hit hard by a drop in consumption, say the election could be a double whammy if it causes a further slowdown in economic activity.

Campaigning during the year-end shopping season is a headache for department stores, an executive at a major department store operator said.

When the last general election was held in December 2012, spending for year-end gift-giving shrank, denting sales at department stores.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza
Alfonso Esparza

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