Press Conference by the Minister for Financial Services


January 13 , 2004

From January 7 to 11, I visited Germany and Sweden. I visited Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, the Deutsche Post CEO, Mr. Bosse Ringholm, the Swedish Minister for Finance, Mr. Gunnar Lund, the Swedish Minister for International Economic Affairs and Financial Markets, and Dr. Lars Heikensten, the Sveriges Riksbank Governor. I also visited the vocational training company and elder care facility in Sweden.

In the meeting held at Deutsche Post, I heard about Germany's experiences in progressive privatization of postal-services, and exchanged our views about the postal service reform, which discussions have just started in Japan. In Sweden, I exchanged opinions about fiscal reform, financial sector reform and other issues based on the concept of New Public Management (NPM), and visited the vocational training company to see Swedish efforts in job creation aimed at revitalization of the local economy. I acknowledged the importance of further promoting structural reform in Japan, referring to the experiences of these countries.

Tomorrow, the Kantei Economic Policy Conference ''Renaissance of the Japanese Economy - Economic Revival and Challenges'' will be held at the Prime Minister's Official Residence. I look forward to having productive discussions that will further promote structural reform.


What will you advocate at the Kantei Economic Policy Conference? Also, what will Mr. Glenn Hubbard (the former Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors) and Mr. Laurence Lindsey (the former Assistant to the President of the United States of America), who will be participating as experts, talk about at this stage? Please explain what you have in mind at the moment.


My report will be given in the form of a basic report, after the Prime Minister's address. I would like to explain framework, such as the way in which Mr. Koizumi's structural reform is organized as a whole, the type of awareness exercised in promoting the reform, and our understanding of the current situation. Based on this, experts will be encouraged to discuss from various angles, so I intend to make a concrete presentation on the framework in my speech.

The comments to be made by the experts are beyond my knowledge. In any case, however, it is hoped that they will broadly acknowledge that Mr. Koizumi's structural reform is making steady progress in certain areas. At the same time, we do fully acknowledge that there are further issues, so we would like to hear their frank opinions about the directions and concrete measures to deal with those problems.

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