Head of Japan's biggest business lobby wants end to divided Diet

The leader of Japan's biggest business lobby expressed hope Thursday that the upcoming upper house election will put to an end to the divided Diet, thus facilitating implementation of policies.

"The biggest task our country faces is placing the economy, which has started moving upward, on a full-fledged growth path," Hiromasa Yonekura, leader of the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, said in a statement as campaigning for the July 21 election started earlier in the day.

Yonekura called for swiftly promoting free trade negotiations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, easing regulations and implementing fiscal and social security reforms.

"To do so, political stability is essential," he said. "I strongly hope that an environment will be created to carry out policies swiftly and steadily."

While the ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the New Komeito party, control the powerful House of Representatives, the opposition camp is dominant in the upper house.

Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Tadashi Okamura said the election should center on policy debate and that it is crucial to implement growth strategies that spread the economic recovery to small- and medium-sized companies as well as the country's regions.