October 23, 2005

Keidanren made covert trip to China last month

Top officials of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), including Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, secretly went to China on Sept. 30 and held talks with President Hu Jintao, sources said Saturday.

Okuda, along with Vice Chairmen Akio Mimura and Kenji Miyahara, exchanged opinions with Hu and other officials on the impact on bilateral economic relations of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, according to the sources.

It is rare for Keidanren, the nation's biggest business lobby, to keep its overseas missions secret.

The meeting suggests the level of concern Japanese business leaders have over the negative fallout from Koizumi's annual visits to the war-related Shinto shrine.

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