Japan acts to end recession

JAPAN - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has asked his government minister to hammer out a series of economic reforms aimed at lifting Japan out of recession.

Mr Koizumi has "ordered us to take comprehensive measures to fight deflation", said economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka.

The measures will include a "further monetary easing and drastic plans to resolve the [country's commercial banks'] bad loans problem as quickly as possible, he said.

The government is expected to ask t