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Facing reporters in one of his first interviews since being named Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister, Nobuteru Ishihara said Wednesday the economy is making a steady recovery despite recent sharp falls in stock prices and the negative growth logged in the final three months of 2015.

“There have been no major changes in economic fundamentals,” said Ishihara, who was appointed to the post Jan. 28 as successor to scandal-hit Akira Amari. He pointed to rising profits at companies based in Japan and improving job-to-applicant ratios across the country.

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