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Japan on Thursday applauded the agreement reached between Indonesia and the International Monetary Fund on new economic policy measures to be implemented by Jakarta.Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka both welcomed the move. Mitsuzuka released a formal statement that said it would promote structural reforms in the Indonesian economy and help to restore market confidence in the country. “We reaffirm our commitment to support Indonesia in cooperation with the IMF and other relevant countries,” the statement said.A senior Finance Ministry official acknowledged that some developments in the Indonesian economy since the initial agreement with the IMF last November had been unexpected, such as the steep rise in inflation and the drop in growth. Therefore, the need arose to have Jakarta take additional economic reform steps and hasten implementation of some commitments made in its earlier agreements, he explained.The official added, however, that the country’s foreign reserves were still at adequate levels and that there was not yet any request from Indonesia for Japan to extend any part of the $5 billion in aid it has promised as a second line of defense.

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