Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto instructed the Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday to consider using public funds to clear up the nation’s bad loan mess, a proposal welcomed by a rally on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The 225-Issue Nikkei average closed the day at 16,308.49, up 466.03 from Wednesday. Hashimoto instructed LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato to head discussions within the party on problems relating to bad loans incurred by financial institutions, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka said.

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