Ending The Culture Of Deceit

No problem was too big to lie about in Japan. Now the truth hurts more

Ryutaro Hashimoto has a credibility problem. While international-finance officials raced to rescue Indonesia and buck up South Korea last week, Japan's Prime Minister was struggling to restore confidence in his own country's cratering economy. Hashimoto delivered a State of the Union parliamentary address that was unique in its brevity and laserlike in its focus on emergency measures to stimulate growth and reinforce sagging financial institutions. "It is my unwavering determination," he declared, "to avoid at all costs a worldwide financial or economic panic originating in Japan." The Japanese financial markets gagged on that plea for confidence, plunging to their lowest levels...

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