[IWAR] JAPAN paper slams PM on economy

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Mon Apr 20 1998 - 20:12:37 PDT

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    Top Japanese paper slams PM Hashimoto on economy 
     9.52 p.m. EST (0152 GMT) April 20, 1998
     TOKYO, April 21  Japan's largest newspaper, widely seen as close to the
     ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Tuesday published an unprecedented front
     page "prescription'' for reviving the country's flagging economy, which it
     compared to the doomed Titanic. 
     The Yomiuri Shimbun, once a strong supporter of Prime Minister Ryutaro
     Hashimoto, criticised the Japanese leader for his handling of the economy, and
     called for an end to "faceless'' prime ministers. 
     "Is the Japanese economy destined to share the fate of the Titanic?'' the
     newspaper said. "There is great concern about the economy, with some
     analysts comparing it to the doomed ship.'' It gave seven prescriptions for
     ailing economy: 
     -- Postpone the target date for reducing fiscal deficits. 
     -- Permanently cut income tax and corporate tax. 
     -- Invest in social infrastructure, including information and
     -- Realise limits to the market economy. 
     -- Make use of public funds to securitise real estate held as collateral. 
     -- Bring an end to "faceless'' prime ministers. -- Stop irresponsible verbal
     intervention by politicians. 
     The paper's "manifesto'' warned that unless Japan took effective measures, it
     could trigger worldwide economic chaos. 
     The key to recovery was to switch from fiscal reconstruction to economic
     It prescribed permanent income and resident tax cuts from the current ceiling
     65 percent to a maximum 50 percent. 
     The Yomiuri said Japan needed a forceful leader. 
     "Hashimoto has maintained a low profile, virtually disappearing in times of
     crisis... The country does not need a wishy-washy prime minister,'' it said. 
     Up to now Japan's bureaucrats have made economic policy, but have been
     discredited through a series of scandals. 
     The newspaper said politicians should exercise more caution in their new role
     of launching initiatives, slamming them for making irresponsible remarks which
      saw as disrupting financial markets. 

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