[ Nippon Keidanren | Press Conference ]

Chairman Okuda's Press Conference

July 22, 2003

Following is the gist of remarks made by Hiroshi Okuda, Chairman, Nippon-Keidanren at a scheduled press conference on 22 July 2003. Translation is rush and tentative, and sequence of the gist does not necessarily coincide with words delivered.

(On the 2nd Higashi Fuji Summer Forum -- July 24 and 25)
It would be nice if there would be a clear-cut conclusion on the relationship between business and politics. I have no plans to arrive at concluding Nippon Keidanren's priority policies down to minute details -- what would be most likely is to decide upon 10 to 20 items to evaluate political parties that are included in the General Assembly Resolution issued in May.

(On the stock price level and economic outlook)
The stock price has come back quick from the bottom near ¥7,000 level, and profit taking selling could naturally occur. My economic outlook is rather bright: Japan, however, must find ways to mobilize private financial asset of ¥1,400 trillion -- if we could successfully mobilize the asset, both regional and central economy would be brighter.

(On calls for fiscal stimulus)
The government must execute fiscal 2002 supplementary budget and fiscal 2003 budget quickly, before it should start discussing about additional stimulus packages. I wouldn't take a definite stance on it at this moment but I would rather like to take a cautious approach. If Mr. Koizumi is successful in winning party presidency, economic policy would be no different regardless of who the next economic ministers would be.

(On political manifesto in Japan)
They must be made good uses for elections and party targeting if such are realistic and include numerical figures and target dates. Manifesto of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party must be different, otherwise the road to two-party system would be long.

(On planned visit to China)
The visit is planned for the mid-August. The agenda will be set after hearing the result of Minister Ogi's visit before us. I don't want to preempt the possibility of having Japanese Shinkansen formula's winning contract towards Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway.

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