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Nakasone Vows to Trim Surplus by Hiking Internal Consumption

September 13, 1986|Associated Press

TOKYO — Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, his term in office just extended by a year, promised Friday to trim Japan's huge foreign trade surplus by stimulating consumption at home.

The surplus has been criticized by Japan's trading partners--including the United States--which buy much more from Japanese producers than they have been able to sell in the Japanese market.

Nakasone, in a speech on the second day of an extraordinary session of Parliament, also pledged to continue the reform of the deficit-ridden Japan National Railways, the education system and national tax system.

He said he plans to introduce a supplemental budget for fiscal 1986 and other legislation to ensure that the economy continues to grow, but with an emphasis on domestic demand rather than exports.

"Ensuring sustained growth centering on domestic demand is an urgent issue for the further enhancement of Japan's standard of living as well as for the formation of internationally harmonious external economic relations," he said. Nakasone, 68, said Japan's current account surplus, which reached about $50 billion last year, is "cause for concern."

"Accounting as it does for one-tenth of world GNP, Japan will work . . . to further the momentum for (economic) policy coordination" with other countries, Nakasone said.

On Thursday, Nakasone's governing Liberal Democratic Party voted him a one-year extension of his term as party leader, which carries with it the premiership. His term had been scheduled to end in October, but his party's landslide victory in July parliamentary elections paved the way for the extension. The party rules revised Thursday had limited a party president to two two-year terms.

On foreign policy, Nakasone said he would "continue to make every effort to promote fruitful dialogue and negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union.

"I will especially continue to support United States foreign policy efforts in the U.S.-Soviet negotiations on arms control and disarmament," he said.

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