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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed his ministers Friday to flesh out concrete reform measures based on an economic blueprint for 2003 endorsed by the Cabinet, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said.

One pillar of the plan — titled Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Policy Management and Structural Reform 2003 — is a deep cut in national subsidies to local authorities to revamp the financial ties between the central government and local authorities.

“Overcoming deflation is a big task in our economy. I will speed up reforms, including structural ones, and emphasize measures to boost private demand and employment,” Koizumi said in a statement after the plan was endorsed earlier Friday.

The blueprint is the third of its kind to be compiled since Koizumi took office in April 2001, and will serve as the guideline for economic policy. It was finalized by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Thursday.

The report outlines seven areas of reform to be addressed by the government: deregulation, financial system reforms, tax reforms, employment structure reforms, social security reforms, reforms of relations between the government and local governments, and reforms to the budget compilation process.

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