10 October 2001, 14:40  Minus growth possible due to terrorist attacks: Takenaka

TOKYO, Oct. 10 (Kyodo) - Economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka warned recently that the Japanese economy could see minus growth due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, a nonprofit organization (NPO) said Wednesday. In an interview last Wednesday, Takenaka said, "We must brace ourselves for the possibility of a severe situation where growth is minus," according to transcripts released on Genron-NPO's Internet site the same day. Genron-NPO is a Tokyo-based NPO that provides a forum for academics and specialists in the private and public sectors. "The terrorist attacks were a devastating external shock, and it is inevitable that we will not remain unscathed...We must endure and absorb (the shock)," Takenaka was quoted as saying. The minister emphasized that he was not thinking of implementing more public works to boost the economy. "Fundamentally, I have absolutely no intention of making public spending," Takenaka said, noting the budget should be used to precipitate economic reforms needed to strengthen the supply side of the economy.

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