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Matsunaga expects economy to recover under Miyazawa

TOKYO, July 30 Kyodo

Former Finance Minister Hikaru Matsunaga, said shortly after resigning Thursday morning that he expects his successor, Kiichi Miyazawa, to take the appropriate steps and implement them swiftly in order to boost the ailing economy.

''I believe the nation's economy will turn toward a positive direction under the powerful finance minister,'' he told a press conference after an extraordinary cabinet meeting, at which Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and his cabinet members resigned.

Miyazawa is to be appointed as finance minister under the new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Keizo Obuchi. Obuchi is certain to be named prime minister later in the day.

Matsunaga said the economy was already weak when he was installed as finance minister on Jan. 30, following the resignation of his predecessor, Hiroshi Mitsuzuka, and that its condition has further deteriorated since then.

''The state of the economy is now worse, but it is certain we will soon be able to see signs of recovery, as the government's various stimulus measures, such as special income tax cuts, are expected to have a positive impact on the economy,'' he added.

He said he would also be able to restore the public's trust in the scandal-tainted Ministry of Finance.

On April 27, Matsunaga punished 112 ministry officials for accepting excessive entertainment from financial institutions. Two senior officials -- Atsushi Nagano, director general of the Securities Bureau, and Takashi Sugii, deputy director general of the Banking Bureau -- resigned from the ministry following the punitive measures.

''It was disappointing that two capable officials resigned, but through the punishment, the MOF officials now understand that compromising their morals will cause them to lose the public's trust,'' he said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Aug 3, 1998
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