PRESIDENT BUSH ON MONDAY GAVE JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER JUNICHIRO KOIZUM...

World | February 18, 2002, Monday // 00:00

President Bush on Monday gave Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's slowed economic reforms a ringing endorsement, even as the Japanese leader said Japan had lost confidence in itself. "I'm confident in this man's leadership ability. I'm confident in his strategy, and I'm confident in his desire to implement that strategy," Bush said at a joint news conference with Koizumi, whose declining political popularity has raised questions over his ability to carry through reforms. Said Koizumi: "Ten years ago we were over-confident," referring to the days a decade earlier when Bush's father visited Japan as president. "Now we've lost confidence. But I would like to tackle structural reform with confidence and with hope."

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