In his policy speech before the Diet on Sept. 29, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto reiterated apologies to the public for appointing a politician once convicted of bribery to the Cabinet he formed earlier this month.

With regard to policy matters, he called the next three years a period of intensive reform and repeated his resolve to carry out reforms in six areas: administration, fiscal structure, economic structure, the monetary system, social security and education. The prime minister stressed the need to restructure and deregulate the nation’s economy if economic vitality is to be restored. Toward that end he spoke of a plan to cut corporate taxes.

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