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Nation's jobless rate soars, Okinawa worst

Date Posted: 1998-07-30

According to statistics released by the central government, Japan suffered from a record high unemployment rate through 1997. The report say that the average jobless rate throughout the nation was 8.7 % and among all prefectures, Okinawa was the worst with 12.3 % of its work force out of job. Officials point out that the numbers reflect the dire economic situation that the nation is in. They also say that the trend is going to continue into the foreseeable future.

The statistics showed that the jobless rate in Tokyo was 9.5%, 8.5% in Osaka-Kobe area, 8.1% in Hokkaido and 7.8% in Kyushu. The numbers showed also an increase in every area.

The survey was completed last October, and during normal times, the ministry officials release the numbers after about one year. This time, however, the statistics were made public early at the urging of the prime minister's office. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto urged emergency measures to be taken to fight the unemployment upon the release of the report.

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