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Takenaka gets Godzilla treatment


After all the bickering, temper tantrums, threats of legal suits and raised hopes for solutions to Japan's banking and economic troubles, minister for economy and financial services Heizo Takenaka has finally released plans to revitalize banking and the economy.

Despite Takenaka's brave attempts to get tough and include strong measures in the latest recovery package, he failed, producing what many are calling a weak, watered-down compromise. It seems that for now the old establishment and conservative Japanese bankers have got their way yet again.

"The guys who run these banks are terrible at making loans but very good at sensing when their own self-interest is about to be affected," says an economist in Tokyo. "They've been jumping all over Takenaka like he was Godzilla walking out of Tokyo Bay." So while Takenaka calls his plan a good start, to many observers it looks as if he never made it out of the starting gate.

Bankers and analysts had been hoping for a string of confident measures that would show Japan's new determination to tackle its banking crisis head-on and get the country and its institutions on the road to recovery. But what people didn't want to come true has.

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