Secretary General Koichi Kato of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party expressed his disapproval Wednesday of some morning media reports that he said misinterpreted his comments from the previous day.”I did not mean at all that the government is considering moving back the target year to stop issuing deficit-covering bonds,” Kato said in reference to reports that he had said the government and the LDP may abandon the 2003 target for fiscal reform.”The media reports resulted from pouncing on some of my words,” he told reporters. The framework of the government’s fiscal restraint policy should be maintained, Kato said.The LDP’s No. 2 man reiterated that the administration of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto can take other steps to boost the economy without postponing the 2003 target. Such steps can be considered if the economy does not improve through currently planned measures, such as a 2 trillion yen special tax cut and a set of measures to stabilize the financial system.In his speech Tuesday, Kato said, “The basic policy of fiscal reform must be maintained, but we must cope with it in an accommodative manner and postpone it to some extent if the (economic) situation does not improve.”

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