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By the end of this month, the government will map out a concrete scheme to help resuscitate the competitiveness of the nation’s manufacturing and other industrial sectors, Kaoru Yosano, international trade and industry minister, said Monday.

The plan is in accordance with instructions given last fall by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to Cabinet members involved in his effort to revitalize Japan’s sluggish industrial activities.

Modeled after a U.S. economic restructuring report issued in the mid-1980s, the industrial resuscitation scheme attaches greater importance to supply-side economics, Yosano told a business news conference in Tokyo.

Calling the government’s recent fiscal spending-oriented measures “symptomatic therapy,” Yosano said the nation must shift toward a supply-side economy by carrying out industrial restructuring toward the next century. “The government has done all it can by adopting fiscal, financial and tax measures necessary to create effective demand,” Yosano said. “Still, we must consider what (industrial) reform should be done toward the 21st century.”

To offset such negative side effects as unemployment as a result of industrial restructuring and to support corporate efforts in streamlining and disposing of excessive plant and equipment, the MITI chief added that the government is ready to provide a social safety net as well as legislative and deregulatory measures.

While underscoring the importance for Japan to upgrade its manufacturing productivity, Yosano said the government and private sector must team up with each other to win in global competition.

To this end, Yosano and Takashi Imai, chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), agreed in their meeting early in the day to set up a consultative panel between the government and business circles to expand dialogue.

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