Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi renewed his pledge Friday to attain positive economic growth in the next fiscal year and put the nation on a recovery path by fiscal 2000.

In his policy speech at the opening of the 144th Diet session Friday, Obuchi reiterated his Cabinet’s determination to boost the economy by implementing the latest pump-priming package, worth nearly 24 trillion yen.

Apparently referring to a new alliance between the Liberal Democratic Party, which he heads, and the Liberal Party, Obuchi expressed readiness to promote interparty cooperation to smoothly implement his policies.

Obuchi also praised the Japan-China joint statement that he and Chinese President Jiang Zemin concluded the previous day, saying it will become a new milestone in Sino-Japanese relations.

Most of the prime minister’s speech appeared to be nothing more than a repetition of already announced government initiatives.

The extraordinary Diet session ends Dec. 14.

During the session, lawmakers are expected to mainly debate the third supplementary budget to finance the proposed economic stimulus measures.

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