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Pick to head Japan business lobby 'best suited' to advance agenda

Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi seen keeping Keidanren tight with Abe's government

Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi answers questions from reporters in Tokyo Tuesday.

TOKYO -- The Japan Business Federation, the country's leading business lobby, named Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi as its new leader in an announcement Tuesday.

Nakanishi will start his four-year term in May, outgoing Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara told reporters in Tokyo. It will mark the first time the organization, also known as Keidanren, has appointed one of the conglomerate's executives as its leader.

"He is the best suited for the job," said Sakakibara, lauding Nakanishi's international experience and business acumen. He also credited Nakanishi for "standing at the forefront of the direction in which we should be going," referring to the government's vision of a high-tech "Super Smart Society," or "Society 5.0."

Nakanishi pledged to "strongly and constructively advance" Japan's economic revitalization. He also indicated he will maintain Keidanren's close coordination with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government. Keidanren will "enhance our dialogue" with the government, said Nakanishi.

Keidanren also tapped Nobuyuki Koga, chairman of financial group Nomura Holdings, as the incoming chairman of the board of councilors, the No. 2 position in the lobby.


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