Japan PM likely to order new stimulus by end-March – Yomiuri

FILE PHOTO: PM Fumio Kishida's news conference
FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister’s official residence on February 25, 2022, Tokyo, Japan. Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via REUTERS

March 23, 2022

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will consider compiling a fresh stimulus package to cushion the economic blow from surging fuel and grain prices, Kyodo news agency quoted a senior ruling coalition lawmaker as saying on Wednesday.

Kishida, who heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), made the remarks in a meeting with Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the LDP’s ruling coalition Komeito.

Any extra spending, which would follow Tuesday’s parliamentary approval of a record $900 billion budget for the 2022 fiscal year, will add to Japan’s huge public debt and run counter to other major economies withdrawing crisis-mode policies.

Under pressure by politicians to ramp up spending ahead of an upper house election scheduled this summer, Kishida has been signalling the chance of compiling further stimulus steps to ease the pain of surging fuel and food costs on households and companies.

The Nikkei newspaper reported that the government will likely tap 5.5 trillion yen ($45.41 billion) in reserves set aside under the fiscal 2022 budget to fund the package, instead of compiling an extra budget.

($1 = 121.1300 yen)

(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Leika KiharaEditing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes)

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