TOKYO (MNI) – Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Seiji Maehara on
Friday said he will discuss global economic conditions, including the
impact of the strong yen, in today’s meetings with Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

“It is impossible not to refer to the appreciation of the yen” that
erodes Japanese export profits at a time when global demand remains
slow, Maehara told reporters.

On the slow economic recovery, the minister said he has a sense of
urgency but added it is still uncertain whether the economy has entered
a downward cycle.

Earlier on Friday, the government said it has revised down its
overall economic assessment for the third straight month, saying that
growth has been hit by the global slowdown.

Asked how the government should support the economy, Maehara said
that before considering a supplementary budget, it is more important to
seek parliamentary approval of a bill that will allow the government to
issue debt for covering revenue shortfalls for the current fiscal year.

The government will continue to urge the BOJ to conduct what it
calls “powerful monetary easing” in order to hit the central bank’s 1%
inflation goal, he said.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has vowed to help the economy move
out of deflation within a year from now, he added.
** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-6860-4820 **

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