The government will reinforce its support for middle-standing and large companies suffering from the credit crunch with the quasigovernmental Japan Development Bank providing for working capital and purchasing corporate bonds, trade chief Kaoru Yosano said Wednesday.

Yosano made the pledge in his meeting with representatives of eight industrial machinery associations in the fields of construction, engineering, office equipment, semiconductors, robots, bearings and video games, according to an official of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Yosano also promised to ensure that the government will come up with a substantial economic package next Monday to fill the deflationary gap between supply and demand and revive the nation’s withering economy.

As for measures to back other Asian economies, Yosano said the government is looking at boosting the scale of its trade insurance for trading companies and to expand the amount of tied loans to support activities of Japanese-affiliated businesses in developing countries.

The business leaders told Yosano of their predicaments, with a representative of the construction machine industry saying the current situation is a matter of life and death for his business circles.

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