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Kyodo economic news summary -9-.

TOKYO, March 9 Kyodo -- Japan plans to press for a 13-area package accord over the next three years at the next round of multilateral negotiations set to begin next year under the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a position paper obtained Tuesday by Kyodo News. The 13 areas are agriculture, services, industrial products, investment, competition policy, government procurement, environment, trade facilitation, antidumping measures, technical trade barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property, and regional trade arrangements. -- The Japan Development Bank said Tuesday it plans to introduce a new interest rate system effective April 1, abandoning the existing system based on the long-term prime lending rate. The new system offers three interest rates based on a rate at which the government-backed bank raises funds from the Trust Fund Bureau of the Finance Ministry. -- The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said Tuesday that Japan's business sector continues to be pessimistic, with its confidence indexes remaining in the negative column in the January-March period for the sixth consecutive quarter. The index stood at minus 23 for the manufacturing industry and minus 27 for the nonmanufacturing sector. -- The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on Tuesday cited a lack of industrial infrastructure, prohibitive regulations and political instability as obstacles to further Japanese investment in Malaysia. Presenting a paper at the 21st annual conference of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association and the Japan-Malaysia Economic Association, Tatsuo Nakata, JETRO executive vice president, said, ''Many people pointed out the weakness of Malaysia's industrial infrastructure as a cause of the current economic crisis.'' -- The head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) expressed dissatisfaction Tuesday over what he called insufficient implementation of some bilateral agreements between the United States and Japan. In announcing the 1999 U.S.-Japan Trade White Paper, Glen Fukushima said there have been setbacks in agreements in such areas as insurance, flat glass, government procurement, construction and sea and air transport, although some agreements have met expectations such as those on semiconductors. -- Japan is likely to adopt a split method of holding ministerial meetings and a session of leaders in two different places when it hosts an annual summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) major nations next year, a Foreign Ministry source said Tuesday. The source also said Germany, host nation this year, has decided to hold meetings of foreign and finance ministers in Berlin about a week before the three-day summit session from June 18 in Cologne. -- The government might conduct a second round of capital injection into banks whose capital accounts have been depleted due to chronic bad-loan write-offs, the minister in charge of financial system revitalization said Tuesday. ''It is possible for the government to provide certain amounts of assistance using this fund,'' Hakuo Yanagisawa told the day's session of the House of Councillors panel deliberating the banking system's woes. -- Nissho Iwai Corp. said Tuesday it will post a 28 billion yen profit from the sale of its Osaka head office building and two other properties in the fiscal 1998 book-closing to cover part of its 160 billion yen securities investment loss. The trading house said it will incur a 44.5 billion yen unconsolidated net loss in closing its books for fiscal 1998 ending March 31. -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum plans to make use of its symposium on the year 2000 computer glitch in Singapore next month to lay the groundwork for policies to help its members tackle the problem. The APEC Y2K symposium, which will take place April 22 and 23, ''is crucial as it will lay the groundwork on APEC Y2K issues for possible implementation in the years ahead,'' the Singapore-based APEC Secretariat said in its latest update on the symposium.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Mar 15, 1999
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