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Japan OK's 2nd stimulus package to spur economy
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 02 - 12 - 2012

TOKYO — Japanese Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said that the Japanese government Friday approved a second stimulus package totaling 1.2 trillion yen, about $14.6 billion, in a bid to bolster the nation's anemic economy.
“The latest stimulus package will a have positive impact on supporting the economy as they includes deregulation measures, outlays for rebuilding the disaster-hit areas and revitalization of the economy,” Finance Minister Koriki Jojima told a news conference earlier Friday.
The latest package comes ahead of a general election scheduled for Dec. 16 and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may come under fire for unrolling the spending package as a means to garner electoral votes as the ruling Democratic Party of Japan gears up to fight an almost insurmountable battle against the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party to stay in power.
The package, to be funded by reserves in the fiscal 2012 budget, is aimed at boosting social security facilities, creating more jobs and providing financial support to small and medium-sized businesses. The Japanese Cabinet said that 880.3 billion yen (around $10.7 billion), has been earmarked to be spent on these projects and to slow Japan's imminent descent into its third technical recession since 2008.
According to the government's latest figures, the world's third largest economy shrank 3.5 percent in the July-September quarter, and leading economists predict that GDP figures for the current quarter, despite an increase in industrial output in October, will confirm that the Japanese economy has entered a recession phase. However, government officials on Friday said the new package, the second of its kind in as many months, would create a total of around 120,000 new jobs and add 0.4 percent to Japan's overall GDP within a 12-month period.
The LDP and its chief Shinzo Abe will likely oust Noda's DPJ, ending a three year reign for the Democrats and Abe will almost certainly succeed Noda as Japan's Prime Minister following the December election, political pundits attest. Noda is eyeing a third extra stimulus package for the current fiscal year through March, to be funded by an extra budget, but the successful passage of this policy will be determined by the results of the upcoming general election.
The cabinet said it has earmarked 132 billion yen to build new nursing homes and better-equip existing ones, in response to Japan ‘s rapidly aging society, and around 110 billion yen will be used to stimulate the job market. In addition 95 billion yen will be used to prop up small and medium-sized enterprises, the cabinet said. — Agencies

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