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Mon, May 13, 2002 - Page 21 News List

Japan at rock bottom


The Japanese government will declare in the coming week that the nation's economy has reached its worst level and is now nearing a mild recovery, a news report said yesterday. "Economy Minister Heizo Takenaka is expected to announce at a ministerial meeting that the economy is hitting the bottom and that a mild recovery is close at hand," the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said, quoting sources close to Takenaka. The meeting will be held on Friday to prepare the government's economic report for May, the newspaper said. Among the reasons for the recovery were the end of falls in exports and industrial production, and the improvement in consumer sentiment, the Nihon Keizai. "Takenaka is likely to say that the economy has passed the worst phase and is entering a recovery phase," the newspaper said. Takenaka, however, is expected to stress that any recovery would not be strong. He will also reiterate the importance of pressing ahead with structural reforms for a full-blown recovery, the Nihon Keizai said.

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