Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto’s blue-ribbon panel on administrative reform completed a series of hearings for each government ministry and agency June 25, apparently only reconfirming opposition within the bureaucracy to his goal of a slimmer government.

Hashimoto, who chairs the Administrative Reform Council, himself recently said that officials of every ministry and agency had justified their jobs during hearings and stressed the importance of maintaining their role in the future. “No ministry or agency has come out to say, ‘this part and that part of our jobs are inefficient or not necessary,'” Hashimoto said last week.

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