In an effort to recover public confidence in the nation’s plummeting economy, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto next week might announce a shift from his austerity policy to one of economic stimulation.

Any such decision would be announced after the fiscal 1998 budget bills clear the Upper House, which would come Wednesday at the earliest. The top executive members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party basically agreed Friday to call on Hashimoto — when he returns from Europe — to publicly explain what he plans to do to lift the country out of recession.

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