Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto will soon urge the executives of Japan’s major banks to overcome any reluctance to offer loans, said Mitsuo Horiuchi, minister for international trade and industry.

Horiuchi said Hashimoto expressed his intention when they discussed the issue after a Cabinet session Friday. Speaking at a news conference, the trade chief said the injection of public funds is an important first step, but will not correct the ongoing credit crunch alone. “The Finance Ministry must ensure that those banks will not hold back loans now that they have received people’s tax money,” he said.

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