Japanese Recovery Key To Asia Woes

If G-7 finance ministers are looking for a hopeful glimmer, they got it from Japan this week when the lower house of Parliament passed a long-discussed bill to fix Japan's sick banks. But the bill still needs approval from the upper house--and that could take weeks more.CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen reports.

It's odd that Japan's Finance Minister is dealing with so much trouble at home and still managed to pledge $30 billion dollars in loans and support for other Asian countries at the recent G-7 meeting.

Analysts like John Neuffer says that kind of funding won't cure Asia's economic flu.

"What the Clinton administration really wants, and what the region really needs is for Japan to get its economy back on its feet. That is the big problem. The $30 billion dollars is nice, but it's going to be viewed by many people as something of a Band-aid," says John Neuffer of the Mitsui Marine Research Institute.

Meanwhile, Asia's turmoil is getting worse. Rioting in the streets of Malaysia over a domestic political squabble poses another threatening hit to their economy.

Indonesia is in such tatters that for millions, jobs, homes, and hope are gone.

Labor unions demonstrate in South Korea, but cannot keep a million people from being thrown out of work.

Japan is the key to Asia's recovery. It's economy is twice The size of all the other Asian economies combined. Fix Japan and the region could start turning around. Instead, the politicians dicker. The economy dives and the troubles in Asia just get more desperate.

Written by CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen