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Sakaiya seeks support for PC class coupon proposal.

TOKYO, Sept. 22 Kyodo

Economic Planning Agency chief Taichi Sakaiya on Friday renewed his appeal for public support for his proposal to have the government hand out coupons designed to pay for personal-computer (PC) classes for adults.

But Sakaiya acknowledged that technical problems remain to be done.

''The government has not yet reached a conclusion on whether to implement the subsidy program, because its technical details remain to be worked out,'' the nation's top economic planner told a press conference.

''Even among Asian countries, Japan ranks somewhere in the middle concerning the degrees of spread of information technology among their populaces, so I am sort of troubled by it,'' Sakaiya said.

''The greater the number of Internet users in Japan, the more valuable the Internet will become for our society,'' he said.

Sakaiya said he is facing difficulty drumming up support for his proposal.

He complained of an episode in which a commentator, who originally praised the proposal, appeared on a television show and called the idea an ''attempt to hand out budgetary resources without having secured fruitful prospects.''

Sakaiya last week proposed the government include in a planned stimulus package a program to subsidize classes to train adults in the use of PCs and the Internet.

The package is to be funded by an auxiliary budget that will clear the current extraordinary Diet session.
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Title Annotation:Government Activity
Publication:Japan Computer Industry Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 25, 2000
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