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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto stressed Monday in his policy speech for 1998 that his administration’s primary task this year is to overcome economic difficulties generated by the speculative economic bubble of the late 1980s and its subsequent burst in the early 1990s.

In a 30-minute speech before a Lower House plenary session, Hashimoto also promised the government will root out the wrongdoing that triggered the bribery scandals now plaguing the bureaucracy and create a law mandating government employee discipline so such activity is never repeated.

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