The government will set up a new panel tasked with mapping out ways to curb unemployment that may result from the implementation of painful reforms, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Friday.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will head the council for industrial structural reform and employment, which will consist of all Cabinet members, the top government spokesman said at a news conference.

The economy, trade and industry minister, the health, labor and welfare minister, the minister of economic and fiscal policy, the finance minister and the chief Cabinet secretary will serve as vice heads of the panel, Fukuda said.

The panel will hold its first meeting May 25, he said.

“We hope to promote steps for generating new employment and measures to assist the development of abilities along with the structural reforms in the industrial sector,” Fukuda said.

Koizumi, who swept to power in April, has pledged to carry out structural reforms, saying the economy will be unable to emerge from the doldrums unless it goes through that painful process.

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