Japan's economic crisis worst since WWII: minister

TOKYO, Feb 16, 2009 (AFP) - Japan faces the worst economic crisis since World War II, its economics minister warned Monday, after Asia's biggest economy shrank at the fastest pace in 35 years in the fourth quarter.

"This is the worst ever crisis in the post-war era. There is no doubt about it," Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said.

"The Japanese economy, whose growth is heavily dependent on exports of automobiles, machinery, and IT equipment, was literally battered" by the global downturn, he told a news conference.

He said Japan's economy would not be able to bounce back until the global economic climate improves.

"Japan alone won't be able to recover. The economy has no border. It is our responsibility to rebuild the domestic economy for other countries."

Japan's economy shrank at an annualised pace of 12.7 percent in the three months to December -- its worst performance since 1974 when the country was reeling from an oil crisis, official figures showed.

The government will consider fresh stimulus measures to revive the economy, Yosano said.

Source: AFP

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