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 Govt adopts 2007 economic policy guidelines

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PostSubject: Govt adopts 2007 economic policy guidelines   Tue 19 Jun - 10:58

The Japanese government has finalized its basic economic policy guidelines for 2007.

The guidelines, subtitled as a scenario for a "beautiful country," say Japan's economy is facing a crucial stage in emerging from the long slump that began with the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s.

The blueprint calls for increasing productivity by 50 percent in 5 years.

It also calls for studies on setting up organizations to help small and medium-sized businesses in regional areas.

The studies also include one on creating a mechanism to allow transfer payments to local authorities to narrow gaps in tax revenues from urban and rural areas.

On the problem of 50 million missing pieces of pension information, the guidelines say all pension holders should be assured that they will receive the total amounts of their benefits. They call for setting up a new pension record control system to win back public trust.

On the spending side, government expenditures will be cut as much as possible for the next fiscal year, though it doesn't set numerical targets for reducing public works projects.

Based on the guidelines, the government will work to compile a budget plan for the next fiscal year.

In a statement issued after the guidelines were finalized, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it's necessary to promote reforms to allow Japan to sustain economic growth and increase the quality of people's lives, given the unprecedented decline in the population.

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