The domestic economy continues on a moderate recovery path despite some negative effects of the two percentage-point rise in the consumption tax earlier this month, the Finance Ministry’s regional bureau chiefs agreed April 23.

During their one-day meeting at the ministry, the 11 regional heads gave their overviews of the economic situations in their respective areas. On the whole, they agreed that private-sector demand was growing steadily and that in some regions the strength of the economic recovery was expanding.

The brightest picture was painted by the Tokai region, which includes the city of Toyota — the key manufacturing center for Toyota Motor Co. The performances of Toyota and its affiliated firms have been boosted by brisk vehicle sales in overseas markets.

In his address to the meeting, Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka called on regional finance chiefs to continue efforts to implement and explain the government’s financial and fiscal policies at the local level. He stressed that efforts must be made to ensure the government’s current various reform plans, such as changes to the fiscal and financial systems, are successful. “It is imperative for the nation’s fiscal structure to be reformed so that we can enter the 21st century with a (fiscal) framework that matches our rapidly aging population,” he said, calling on the bureau leaders to explain the need for fiscal reconsolidation to regional governments and businesses.

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