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Amid worsening job conditions nationwide, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto ordered his labor, trade and economic planning ministers Monday to map out a plan to improve employment.

The heads of the Economic Planning Agency, Labor Ministry and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, as well as Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka, were told the government should soon draft a set of steps to address the work shortage, Muraoka said at a regular news conference.

Hashimoto’s instructions precede the first scheduled meeting of a government headquarters on employment that is to be set up this morning. Hashimoto said help was needed most for Hokkaido and Kyushu, which are suffering the worst unemployment rates in the nation, and in the manufacturing sector, Muraoka said.

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