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The government must begin fiscal reconstruction to tackle the debt-dependent situation once the economy begins to recover, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said Tuesday. The reforms should include tax overhauls and local government reforms, Miyazawa said in his final news conference for the year. The timing of the reforms must be precise to avoid nullifying the efforts the government has made in the past 1 1/2 years to stimulate the economy, he said. He made the remarks while summing up economic policymaking in 1999. Miyazawa’s final news conference for the year came a few days after the Cabinet approved a 85 trillion yen state budget for fiscal 2000 that depends on 33 trillion yen in debt. He said he expects personal consumption and corporate capital investment to pick up “at some point” during next year, helped by the expansionary budget. That expectation should make it unnecessary to prepare a large-scale supplementary budget during fiscal 2000, he said.

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