________________________________________________________________________ In poll, most Japanese disapprove of Hashimoto's economic policy ____________________________________________________________________________ Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net Copyright ) 1997 Agence France-Presse TOKYO (December 14, 1997 02:18 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - A majority of Japanese are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's economic policies amid an economic slump, according to a survey report released on Sunday. The survey, conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun, showed that 74 percent of respondents said the Hashimoto cabinet failed to meet people's expectations of economic recovery. Some 24 percent said the cabinet somehow met expectations while another two percent made no reply. Mainichi carried out the survey on December 5, 6 and 7 across Japan, covering 3,000 people of whom 66 percent responded. A separate Mainichi poll released Wednesday said public approval of the Hashimoto cabinet had plunged to 29 percent, the lowest level since it was formed in January 1996. Another poll by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun published Tuesday gave an approval rating of 35 percent, a decline of eight percentage points from the previous survey in September. Japan's economy has been in a standstill, with the ailing financial sector remaining under pressure of huge bad loans, which triggered a string of collapses of major institutions, including Yamaichi Securities Co. Ltd. In an effort to regain public trust, Hashimoto ordered the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to consider issuing 10 trillion yen ($77 billion) worth of new government bonds to revive the economy. But investors were not showing interest in the bond plan due to a lack of clarity surrounding the proposal. The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 520.18 points, or 3.2 percent, last week to end at 15,904.30, with analysts saying share prices are likely to remain depressed this week as well.
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