Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has called for the reorganization of government-affiliated corporations and pointed to the need for sweeping privatization, government officials said Friday.

In instructions to Nobuteru Ishihara, administrative and regulatory reforms minister, Koizumi referred to high-profile entities such as the Japan Highway Public Corporation, the Housing Loan Corporation and the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority, the officials said.

Koizumi later told reporters he gave no specific names of candidates for privatization, but said, “If JHPC can be privatized, it should be privatized.

“I want to privatize any public entity that can be, and scrap and integrate any entity that can be.”

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told reporters later that reorganizing government corporations is one of the major challenges facing the administration.

“There will be no sacred cows when we tackle this problem,” he said.

“I think this is what the prime minister wants to do.”

Ishihara also told reporters that he was given no specific names of candidates earmarked for privatization. “Our basic policy is to push ahead with privatization wherever possible.”

In December, the Cabinet adopted an administrative reform program intended to reorganize all 77 special government firms and all 86 authorized corporations.

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