The man credited with saving Hitachi Ltd. from financial ruin is now tasked with turning around the waning fortunes of the entire manufacturing industry.

Hiroaki Nakanishi, the 71-year-old chairman of the electronics giant, has been named chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the country’s largest business group.

In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Nakanishi spoke with self-confidence and drive about the post he will assume in May.

“Maybe I shouldn’t be talking like this,” Nakanishi said. “But we are in an age when business circles should be led by the power of personalities. What I will be doing will be of great significance for the Japanese economy.”

Nakanishi was a computer engineer with a strong interest in working overseas. On occasion, he ordered his subordinates to write reports in English and then returned the papers covered with red editing marks.

He also served as Hitachi’s chief executive for Europe and the United States.

After a stint as Hitachi’s executive vice president, Nakanishi was transferred to a subsidiary.

But the parent company reinstalled Nakanishi as an executive vice president when it incurred huge deficits following the 2008 financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Nakanishi was subsequently appointed president and chairman of Hitachi. In that capacity, he transformed the company into a social infrastructure business centered on electric power and the railroad sector.

Nakanishi’s remarks can draw world attention.

He is on close terms with Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric Co., a Hitachi competitor based in the United States. The two jointly signed a statement that called on Britain to stay in the European Union ahead of the Brexit vote.

Nakanishi is also close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The challenge that awaits Nakanishi is what he described as the alarmingly weakened global presence of Japan’s manufacturing industry.

“Both Japan’s government and businesses are lacking in speed, which means they can only get off to a slow start even when they have good ideas,” he said. “The biggest role entrusted to me is to press ahead with a revival of the economy both powerfully and in concrete terms.”

He has, however, one source of anxiety ahead of his May inauguration as Keidanren’s chairman.

“I am still at odds with my wife, who asked me not to accept the appointment,” Nakanishi said with a wry smile.