Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto must come out and explain to the people why the nation’s economy is ailing and how the government’s 16 trillion yen package will help the situation, a top Japanese business leader said Tuesday.

Speaking in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Yotaro Kobayashi, chairman of Fuji Xerox Co., said that the prime minister’s problem is that he is increasingly becoming a poor communicator at a time when he must be most eloquent in explaining just what is happening to the Japanese economy.

And that is why the recently announced package, despite the inclusion of a series of substantive measures, has so far failed to impress consumers, the market and industries, he said. “He is intelligent, he means well, and he tries hard,” he said of the prime minister. “But all of that is not producing the kind of results that he wants to bring about.”

Kobayashi suggested that Prime Minister Hashimoto learn from former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Both leaders decisively pushed forward drastic changes and, more importantly, they were extremely good at explaining why they had to be made, he said. “The prime minister is the leader. The prime minister is the chief executive officer (of Japan),” Kobayashi said. “He has to communicate. He has to act. And he has to make things happen.”

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