The government is determined to shore up the faltering economy within two years and stabilize the financial system by fully utilizing the bank recapitalization law and the financial stabilization laws recently approved by the Diet, Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said Friday.At a news conference held after the extraordinary Diet session ended on the same day, Obuchi also indicated that the government is ready to compile a third supplementary budget for fiscal 1998 to implement additional pump-priming measures.Stressing the significant roles financial institutions play in the nation’s economy, the prime minister urged major banks to deal with their non-performing loans in a sincere manner through sufficient disclosure and drastic restructuring.Commenting on the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan — whose liabilities likely exceed total assets, according to the latest report — Obuchi said, “The new laws have been enacted over the past two months. So, we’d like to take appropriate actions in accordance with the laws.”Since a huge amount of public money is expected to be injected into ailing banks based on the new laws, the prime minister said that his Cabinet will do all it can to gain public understanding for a new capital-infusion scheme.The government is determined to protect depositors while trying to prevent a credit crunch in the market, he added.Asked whether the government will request banks to accept public money, Obuchi remained cautious toward such action, saying that it may mean direct involvement by the government in the management of private companies. “It is the matter to be decided by individual financial institutions, but we’d like to think of ways to make banks fully understand the meaning of the newly enacted laws,” he said.

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