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Group Urges Japanese Deregulation

May 8, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Monday urged Japan to accelerate deregulation in sectors such as telecommunications to boost economic growth, a report said.

Donald Johnston, secretary general of the Paris-based group of the world’s wealthiest countries, told reporters in Tokyo that the sluggish pace of regulatory reform hampered Japan’s economy in the 1990s, Kyodo News reported.

Japan’s feeble economy over the past decade may be ``the result of a failure to have effective regulatory reform in many areas, including the telecommunications sector,″ he said, according to Kyodo.

The United States and Japan are currently in a heated dispute over Japan’s phone connection rates, which Washington says are too high.

Johnson was optimistic about the overall state of the Japanese economy, saying that the economy bottomed out last year and was moving toward a growth cycle, Kyodo reported.

The OECD is a 29-nation agency that monitors its members’ economies and global trends.

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