Japan’s supplementary budget for stimulus package will exceed $198 billion -NHK

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TOKYO — Japan’s next economic stimulus package is expected to include a supplementary budget of more than 29 trillion yen ($198 billion), far exceeding a previous estimate, national broadcaster NHK reported Thursday.

Just a day earlier, Japanese media reported that the government was set to spend around 25 trillion yen on the stimulus package, aimed at easing the pain caused by the rising cost of energy and other living costs.

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Some lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party objected to the lower estimate citing tougher economic conditions, prompting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki to meet Wednesday night to review the plan, NHK reported.

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Japan’s public debt is already the largest among major economies at twice the size of its economy. The extra spending, which is expected to be finalized on Friday, is expected to be partially funded by additional debt issuance, raising concerns about Japan’s fiscal discipline.

Asked about the increased expense estimate and its implications, Suzuki said work was still underway to reach a final decision on Friday.

“We are almost there,” he told ministry reporters.

With his approval ratings plummeting, Kishida has been under pressure to take action to soften the blow from rising fuel and food prices, which have been exacerbated by a roughly 30% rise in the dollar per month. against the yen this year.

As part of the stimulus package, the government will extend a gasoline subsidy to curb rising energy costs for households and businesses until the first half of next fiscal year, a draft document viewed on Wednesday showed. by Reuters.

It will also include support for rising electricity bills, which will be implemented as early as next January, according to the plan. ($1 = 146.3200 yen) (Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Mariko Katsumura, Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates, Sam Holmes and Lincoln Feast)


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