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Japan's jobless hits all-time high

Date Posted: 1999-04-02

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa expects the number of jobless in Japan to rise, confirming the fears of Economic Planning Agency (EPA) Minister Taiichi Sakaiya who said February's economic results were "far worse than expected." Figures released Tuesday show the country's unemployment rate has risen to a record high 4.6 percent, a 0.2 percent increase over the previous month. Although the jobless rate in Japan is now higher than in the United States, Miyazawa remarked: "I don't think that means much", a Reuters report quoted him as saying. The number of jobless rose by 670,000 from a year earlier to a record 3.13 million. Chief government spokesman Hiromu Nonaka said necessary steps will be implemented to achieve economic recovery, adding it is the government's number one priority. However, Sakaiya said Tuesday at a press conference the "economy's ability to rebound is still weak."

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