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Government unveils economic package to mitigate impact of rising prices

All national dailies reported on the GOJ’s approval on Tuesday of an emergency economic package worth 6.2 trillion yen ($48 billion) to mitigate the impact on households and small businesses of rising prices for oil and other items. The key features of the package include subsidies for oil wholesalers to bring down retail gasoline prices, support for small- and medium-sized companies, and cash handouts of 50,000 yen ($390) per child for low-income households. Prime Minister Kishida told the press: “We must prevent surging raw material and other prices from preventing social and economic activities from recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic at all costs.” The GOJ is planning to draft an extra budget to be submitted to the Diet in late May, with passage expected before the current regular Diet session ends on June 15. In the second phase of its efforts to support the economy, the government will craft an action plan by June to achieve wealth distribution, the centerpiece of Kishida’s agenda to create a new form of capitalism, and unveil specific steps to achieve the goal after the Upper House election in July.

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