• Kyodo

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Sunday praised former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, who died Saturday, for his leadership in reforming the economy.

“With vision and political courage, he fought hard to reform the Japanese economy and restore his people’s faith in Japan’s financial strength,” Clinton said in a statement, referring to Hashimoto’s attempts to rebuild the domestic banking sector by promoting the disposal of nonperforming loans.

“He was my friend, and we worked together to reinforce our security alliance,” said Clinton, who had a warm relationship with Hashimoto.

On security, Clinton and Hashimoto released a joint statement in April 1996 that committed the United States to maintaining 100,000 service members in East Asia.

Hashimoto died of multiple organ failure and septic shock.

Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001. Hashimoto served as prime minister from January 1996 to July 1998.

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