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EXCLUSIVE: Japan package to earmark 500 b. yen for economic security

  • November 17, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:03 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government plans to earmark some 500 billion yen for measures to strengthen economic security, in its new stimulus measures to be finalized on Friday, Jiji Press learned Wednesday.

 

The funds are expected to be used for aiding the development of important cutting-edge technologies, such as semiconductors, for practical use.

 

The final draft for the stimulus package was approved at a general meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council the same day, as well as at a similar meeting by Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner.

 

Some within the ruling camp have asked the government to implement fiscal spending of at least 30 trillion yen on such measures.

 

The Finance Ministry will look into the total cost of such measures and draw up a supplementary budget for fiscal 2021 and the regular budget for fiscal 2022, which starts in April.

 

The new economy-boosting package will include the establishment of domestic production hubs for semiconductors, vaccines and therapeutic drugs, and the strengthening of supply chains for important goods. It will also lay out a plan to draw up legislation on economic security.

 

On boosting wealth redistribution, a key policy issue for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the government will gradually raise the wages of nurses working at medical facilities that treat novel coronavirus patients by around 3 pct. In the first stage of the wage hike, slated for February next year, the government will raise nurses’ monthly salaries by 4,000 yen, or around 1 pct.

 

Meanwhile, the monthly wages of caregivers, nursery workers and kindergarten teachers will be raised by 9,000 yen, or around 3 pct, next February as well.

 

Also included in the new economic package will be a temporary measure to limit rises in the retail prices of gasoline through steps to curb wholesale prices. The move comes amid soaring fuel costs due to spikes in crude oil prices.

 

Calling for moves away from the principle of single-year fiscal administration, the draft stressed that a policy for medium- to long-term investments in priority areas will be included in the economic package.

 

In the draft, the government also underscored its policy to employ all measures to realize a digital garden city state initiative, which aims to revitalize regional economies through digital technologies.

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