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Aso pledges 'bold' economic steps

  |   Jan. 28, 2009 at 11:27 AM
TOKYO, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso says he's implementing "bold" moves to pull the country out of the global financial crisis ahead of the rest of the world.

Aso told the Japanese Diet Wednesday that he's asking for citizens to make sacrifices to help implement his massive economic stimulus program, including accepting a hike in the country's consumption tax, Kyodo News reported.

Aso also pledged to work with U.S. President Barack Obama to solve the global financial turmoil, as well as to battle terrorism, climate change among other international issues, the Japanese news service said.

"By pressing ahead with bold measures, I will make Japan the first country in the world to emerge from the present economic recession," said Aso, who is facing a reelection campaign this year amid low popularity poll numbers. "To deal with an unusual economy, extraordinary steps are vital."

Aso envisions generating 1.6 million jobs within three years by shifting workers who have lost jobs to fields with growth potential such as nursing care, Kyodo said.

Aso has proposed stimulus measures worth about $716 billion, a sharp increase from the $500 billion that was initially envisioned, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Topics: Taro Aso
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