Last week’s worse-than-expected U.S. jobless figures stoked worries about the economic slowdown in the U.S., sending stock markets reeling around the world.

The U.S. slowdown has been paced by a slump in the IT sector, previously a major driving force of the economy.

If the IT recession spills over into other industrial sectors, the jobless rate will rise further, leaving households in even worse condition.

In Japan as well, gloom is deepening over company profits for the fiscal first half.

But the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is reacting calmly to the stock market slide.

Although there is no need to counter speculative dealings made for quick profits, it’s time for the government to give serious consideration to taking measures that will stop the natural forces of the market from proceeding further.

Behind the stock market’s volatility are growing worries about economic prospects.

Aside from the long-range restructuring program, the Koizumi administration is faced with an overriding need to come up with measures to lower the nation’s jobless rate and protect social welfare.

Further economic exacerbation accompanied by deflationary pressure caused by economic restructuring no doubt spells hard times for Japan.

Still, the worst scenario for the nation would be the government’s failure to stick to its policy goals.

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