Tokyo sees light at end of tunnel

JAPAN - Japan's longest recession since 1993 may be slowly coming to an end as inventories are run down and companies gear up for a faster-than-expected US and European recovery, according to Heizo Takenaka, economics minister.

"There are several indicators that show signs of the economy bottoming out," said Mr Takenaka, who added that the government should resist calls for a fiscal stimulus package to boost demand and attack chronic deflation.

Although Mr Takenaka warned that private-sector in