© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a news conference after the government’s decision to exted a state of emergency amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan May 28
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration will compile a large-scale economic stimulus package before calling a snap election in September, the newspaper reported on Thursday. The Nikkei did not specify how much spending may be involved. Opposition parties have called for a package of around 30 trillion yen ($273.67 billion), a proposal Suga brushed aside in a debate with their leaders on Wednesday. Taking into account such calls, however, Suga will likely order his cabinet to compile a massive stimulus package around summer to appeal to voters in an expected lower house election in September, the paper said without citing sources. Tokyo has deployed massive stimulus packages totalling $3 trillion over the past year to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, further straining public finances by adding to the debt pile that is the biggest among major industrialised nations.
Suga has repeatedly brushed aside the chance of compiling another stimulus package any time soon, arguing that the government still had money left over from a pool of reserves set aside to meet immediate funding needs to combat the pandemic. ($1 = 109.6200 yen)
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