Japan waits for World Cup to lift economy

The World Football (Soccer) Championship in May/June 2002 will bring to Japan and Korea a much-needed boost to their economies, one which it is hoped will kick-start a financial and economic recovery, putting an end to the decade of economic stagnation gripping the region.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stated that he also hopes the event will help to reduce tension between Japan and North/South Korea, whose relationship has been somewhat strained since the Second World War (Great Patriotic War). Mr. Koizumi said that the continued contacts between the Japanese and Korean authorities should be fruitful.

Since he formed his government in June, 2001, Junichiro Koizumi has tried to launch the economy of his country, by making reforms, privatisation and a greater opening to foreign investment. The Japanese government considers that 2002 will be an important turning point in the economy of the country, and consequentially, the region.