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OSAKA — Three years after becoming Osaka governor, “Knock” Yokoyama told reporters Tuesday that restructuring the prefecture’s unhealthy finances is the main goal of his fourth year in office.

“I won’t let this prefecture fall to the level of a deficit juridical organization,” Yokoyama told a news conference here, referring to a situation in which the financial matters of similar local governments are put under control of the central government.

The prefectural government is facing a serious financial crisis, with corporate and resident tax revenues down since the bubble economy burst. The prefecture estimates it will lack about 400 billion yen in financial resources each fiscal year until early next century.

A task force formed earlier this month to look into the problem will draft a financial reconstruction program by August. In addition, the prefecture announced it will not employ new workers in most of its departments next spring.

Looking back on the past three years, Yokoyama said serving as a governor is like going over a rough road, pointing to problems he has had to resolve immediately, such as the construction of an additional runway at Kansai International Airport and the bankrupt Izumisano Cosmo Polis project.

Regarding the dioxin emissions at an incineration center in Nose, Osaka Prefecture, Yokoyama announced that the prefecture set up a council Tuesday to take measures to improve the situation and examine the environment and safety of farm products.

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