2        Development of Employment Measures Towards
      Realization of Stable Working Life

I. Swift implementation of measures for employment stability

Employment conditions remain harsh with an oversupply of labor and the total unemployment rate at its highest recorded level. To ameliorate the situation the government formulated an urgent economic stimulus package in November 1998, aimed at generating new employment opportunities for about one million people, and employment stability for workers. The Ministry of Labour established the General Plan for Stimulating Employment Conditions as one of the major features of the stimulus package (which had a total budget of about 1 trillion yen) and has been implementing the following measures since January 1999: i) to increase the capacity of workplaces as a whole, ii) to help workers improve their employability, iii) to bridge the gap in requirements between the demand and supply of labor, iv) to secure a safety net during unemployment, and v) to further promote the urgent employment development program.
      The main objectives of these measures are to maintain stable employment, to remove people's anxiety about employment, and to once again produce an economic society full of hope and vitality.

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