Tokyo's Reality Check
After months of insisting that recovery wasn't far off, government agencies and key leaders are conceding that Japan's economy is still in trouble. Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa recently expressed concern that the economy is "slipping backwards." And momentum seems to be building for some sort of stimulus package. Speculation is growing that the Bank of Japan will soon cut its official discount rate some 0.5%, to 2%. And the chief cabinet secretary's recent comment that Tokyo is looking at "immediate macroeconomic polices" is seen as a sign that fiscal remedies may be not far off, either.