Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto hinted Tuesday that he would consider the possibility of issuing a new type of government bond to finance a wider range of projects than traditional construction bonds.Speaking before the Lower House Budget Committee, Hashimoto expressed interest in a bond with a shorter redemption period than construction bonds, which are redeemed over a period of 60 years. “I do not intend to disguise my interest in bonds with a shorter redemption period that could be used more flexibly and for projects that do not necessarily exist for 60 years,” he said.His remarks were taken to indicate that a new type of government bond might be issued to help finance projects such as infrastructure for the telecommunications industry. At present, the government can issue two types of bonds — construction bonds and deficit-covering bonds.Under the Fiscal Structural Reform Law enacted late last year, the government is required to stop issuing deficit-covering bonds by fiscal 2003. Koichi Kato, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said earlier this month that the government should consider reviewing the current classification of government bonds in order to pave the way for use of construction bonds for a wider range of purposes.

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