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Japan Plans Aid Package For Asian Reconstruction: Obuchi

June 3, 1999

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Thursday night announced plans to compile by the end of December a comprehensive aid package to help reconstruct Asian economies.

He unveiled the scheme at a dinner for the Future of Asia conference, an international symposium hosted by The Nihon Keizai Shimbun which opened the same day.

The package is expected to include assistance for the unemployed and the poor as well as environmental protection measures. These would be in addition to the present monetary help.

The prime minister also said the government will send a mission led by Japan Federation of Employers' Associations Chairman Hiroshi Okuda to six Asian nations from late August to early September.

The mission will look firsthand at conditions in South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines prior to finalizing the package.

Assessing the current situation of the Asian economies, Obuchi said Asian financial markets have begun to calm down, and the economies in the region are showing signs of recovery.

The countries need to continue reform efforts steadily and should not stop learning lessons from the economic and currency crisis, he added.

"I will ask leading figures from the business and academic world to visit the six nations to suggest specific recommendations," he said.

The seven-strong mission headed by Okuda will include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (8315) Chairman Tasuku Takagaki.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Friday morning edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.