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International Business

WORLD WATCH

January 11, 1996

Socialist Likely to Be Next Japanese Finance Minister: Wataru Kubo, secretary general and chief finance policy strategist of the Socialist Party, is expected to be appointed to the post after Ryutaro Hashimoto is elected prime minister today, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported. Traditionally among the most sought-after jobs in government, the finance minister post has lost its luster amid public criticism of plans to use $6.78 billion of taxpayer money to bail out financially troubled mortgage firms. The decision reportedly came after a last-ditch effort by Hashimoto to find a taker for the position. Kubo, 66, was a top figure in outgoing Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's Socialist Party.

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