Japan to start work on new stimulus package by year’s end

Japan to start work on new stimulus package by year’s end

TOKYO — The government of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Japan’s ruling coalition have begun discussing a fresh round of spending on coronavirus prevention and steps to pull Asia’s second-largest economy out of recession, to be ready as early as this year.

The stimulus package will be funded by Japan’s third extra budget for the current fiscal year. This proposed budget would be submitted to the parliament when it convenes for a regular session in January, said Hiroshi Moriyama, the Liberal Democratic Party’s chief of parliamentary affairs, in a Nikkei interview Thursday.

This schedule adds to signals that Suga will wait until 2021 before calling a snap general election, which some had expected him to do as he rides high in opinion polls.

The economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means “we have no choice but to plan for the third supplementary budget,” Moriyama said.

“Some industries have suffered really terrible slumps,” he said, citing hospitality and tourism. “We must plan for additional support for sectors that have been hit hard.”