Japan, inept

NY Times: U.S. Says Japan Must Make Bolder Economic Changes
Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, remains bogged down by tepid growth, deflation, a deeply depressed stock market and a bank system burdened by hundreds of billions of dollars in problem loans.
The frustration grew markedly today after Japan’s finance minister, Masajuro Shiokawa, argued with his own ministry about whether Japan might be ready to use public money in cleaning up more than $400 billion in problem bank loans Û a move many experts have long advocated.
Mr. Shiokawa said on Friday that he told Mr. O’Neill it was possible. But the Ministry of Finance issued a correction shortly afterward, denying that the minister had talked about a publicly funded rescue. Then, hours later, Mr. Shiokawa angrily insisted that, yes, he had meant what he said.

Always good when the finance minister and his own department disagree publicly.