New stimulus package on the way

November 16, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

The government is drafting another package of economic measures to bolster the weak economy, and aims to have the package ready by the end of November, sources said.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is set to dissolve the Lower House on Nov. 16. It is rare for a government to decide upon new stimulus spending after taking such a step, and critics will likely accuse it of trying to buy votes in the forthcoming election.

The expected multibillion-dollar package will be financed by existing reserves from the fiscal 2012 budget. Those reserves are ones that are already earmarked for fighting the economic crisis and for revitalizing local communities, and will likely now be spent on public works projects.

In October, the government tapped into reserves when it assembled a 400 billion yen ($5 billion) stimulus package ahead of the opening of the current extraordinary Diet session.

It had always intended to introduce a second round of measures during that session--by drafting an extra budget in November to cover the remainder of this fiscal year. But with the dissolution now a reality, it did not complete the work in time.

The government does not need Diet approval to tap into the reserves in question.

(This article was written by Ken Sakakibara and Eiji Zakoda.)

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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An expressway under construction in Kumamoto Prefecture, an example of the kind of stimulus spending now being drafted by the Noda government (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

An expressway under construction in Kumamoto Prefecture, an example of the kind of stimulus spending now being drafted by the Noda government (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • An expressway under construction in Kumamoto Prefecture, an example of the kind of stimulus spending now being drafted by the Noda government (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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