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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 7 - 13  > Business circle’s long-awaited cabinet
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2011 September 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Business circle’s long-awaited cabinet

September 8, 2011
Akahata ‘clear stream, muddy stream’ column

The new cabinet led by Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko is what the business circle has long been waiting for. According to my friend who is well connected in the business world, it was in July when a business heavyweight mentioned Noda’s name as the most appropriate “post-Kan” leader he could think of.

“Now is the time when the finance ministry should make a great effort under the national emergency,” said the business figure, pointing out that former finance minister Noda can expect full-scale support from the ministry. He also said, “Leadership would not matter. Three parties (LDP, DPJ, Komei) will have to work together anyway. The only thing a new leader needs is a broad perspective.”

As policy tasks for a new cabinet, he listed issuance of disaster-reconstruction bonds funded by a tax hike, following a unified reform of taxation and social welfare programs, and promotion of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade pact or a Japan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In other words, business leaders wants the government to maintain the conventional budget framework and impose on the general public a tax increase for post-disaster reconstruction works so that generous tax breaks for large companies will be secured. Now only that, they are scheming for the government to further reduce their share of contributions to social insurance premiums under the name of “uniformed reform” of tax and welfare systems.

For the last two years, the business circle has maintained a certain distance from the Democratic Party of Japan, determining that the ruling party was incapable of realizing their plans under its initial party slogan, “The people’s livelihood comes first.”

However, the new leader Noda seems to be able to get along with business leaders with his conservative LDP-like philosophy.

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