• Kyodo News


Prime Minister Taro Aso will hold a three-day emergency meeting beginning March 20 to hear opinions from more than 100 experts, including business leaders, economists and academics, on ways to escape the economic crisis, government sources said Monday.

Aso, Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano and Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura will attend the meeting at the prime minister’s office with other Cabinet ministers, the sources said.

Popular Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto and Heizo Takenaka, a former economic and fiscal policy minister who served as the main architect of economic reform under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, are among others who may participate in the meeting, they said.

Representatives of consumer groups and the media are expected to be invited, the sources said. The meeting will be broadcast live on the Internet because the government hopes to demonstrate its resolve to tackle the economic crisis by joining forces with the private sector, academics and local government leaders.

The envisaged meeting will deal with finance, employment and human resources, and local autonomy and economies on March 20, agriculture and land, social security, consumer and child-raising issues, and labor issues related to female workers on March 21, and the environment, research and development, and infrastructure for growth on March 22, the sources said.

The government has no plans to compile a report on measures proposed at the meeting. Instead, it plans to flesh out effective proposals and reflect them in its economic policies, the sources said.

“If there are good ones, they may be included in the planned additional economic package,” said a source close to Aso. “We will seek unique opinions free from traditional ways of thinking.”

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.