BEPPU, Oita Pref. (Kyodo) The Liberal Democratic Party will soon propose reducing the government’s assets, estimated at 700 trillion yen, by more than 100 trillion yen to help improve the nation’s debt-ridden public finances, a senior LDP official said Saturday.

Hidenao Nakagawa, chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council, said at a seminar in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, that an working team in the party will compile a report including the proposal within a week.

“We would like to propose a drastic reduction, in the hundreds of trillions of, yen along with ways to implement it,” Nakagawa said, adding the reduction must be done as soon as possible.

An LDP task force headed by Nakagawa is examining ways to liquidate about 430 trillion yen of the government’s assets by securitizing land and property and selling underused public buildings and facilities.

The task force is expected to come up with a concrete plan in May, and the working team’s report will serve as the outline of the task force’s plan, he said.

The move is part of a national public finance reform policy the Cabinet approved in late 2005.

The value of the government’s assets stood at 696 trillion yen at the end of March 2004.

Excluding assets held in foreign currencies and public properties, such as roads, from the total, Japan is to liquidate 430 trillion yen over a 10 year period to cut government spending and use funds generated from the liquidation.

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