Japan has drawn up draft proposals for an “APEC Y2K Week” to help the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, especially developing members, cope with the Year 2000 computer bug problem.

According to the proposals, presented to other APEC economies earlier this week and obtained Friday by The Japan Times, each member is to select one week in the second half of April to be APEC Y2K Week.

In addition, Japan proposes holding an international symposium on the dreaded problem in Singapore for two days of the designated week.

In APEC Y2K Week, all members would be encouraged to launch activities to “enhance awareness, accelerate preparations, conduct contingency planning, and share experience and expertise among the members,” the proposals say.

As specific activities, the draft proposes intensive campaigning, an international symposium, seminars for small and medium-size enterprises in each member economy, and information sharing.

Japan’s draft follows the agreement made by APEC leaders in Kuala Lumpur at its annual summit in November that the Y2K problem be jointly addressed. A statement by the APEC leaders shows they agreed on “the need to enhance awareness and implement necessary measures to resolve the millennium computer problem on an accelerated basis.”

Japan is proposing that members conduct as many campaign activities as possible to enhance awareness. “For example, in addition to national seminars, symposiums and workshops, TV commercials, broadcasting of special programs, distribution of posters and brochures would take place. Each member is encouraged to attach the APEC logo to the contents and materials of the campaigns,” the draft says.

The theme for APEC Y2K Week, according to the draft, would be “interdependence among member economies in respect to the critical economic infrastructure and the Y2K problems faced by SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises), including contingency planning.”

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