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Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi called on his Cabinet ministers Wednesday to compile a stimulus package that offers better future prospects for the economy and the lives of the people.

Reiterating the need to draw up a pump-priming package by Nov. 16, Obuchi urged his ministers — with the cooperation of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party — to hammer out effective measures to put the economy back on track within two years. “In addition to presenting concrete measures, it is vital to clearly present a broader (vision of the) framework of the package to the Japanese public,” he said during a morning meeting of Cabinet ministers and LDP executives.

During the meeting, participants exchanged views on various vital issues expected to be included in the upcoming pump-priming package, such as creation of infrastructure for the next century, steps to ease the ongoing credit squeeze and efforts to reduce unemployment. The package will be reflected in a third supplementary budget for the current fiscal year.

Taichi Sakaiya, head of the Economic Planning Agency, said during the meeting that the package “not only should be on an ample scale, but also should quickly produce results, have a ripple effect and be future-oriented.”

After the gathering, International Trade and Industry Minister Kaoru Yosano said the government must make the most of available public funds to help middle-standing and large enterprises offset the adverse effects of the ongoing credit shrinkage.

Specifically, Yosano proposed during the meeting that public institutions such as the Japan Development Bank take part in the purchase of corporate bonds in order to help businesses smoothly issue such bonds.

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