Japan mulls $129bn extra budget to counter COVID-19

26 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Japan’s government is considering compiling an extra budget worth around US$95.5 billion to offset the economic drag caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Saturday.

The government is likely to debate using the 10 trillion yen (S$129.48 billion) budget to extend a labour subsidy programme scheduled to end in December and to pay for the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, the Mainichi reported, without citing sources, report agencies.

Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are calling for 10 trillion yen in spending, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is likely to formally order an extra budget early next month, the Mainichi said.

The finance ministry and the prime minister’s office did not respond when contacted by phone.

The government may consider whether to use some of the funds to extend a popular domestic travel subsidy scheme but is unlikely to offer more direct cash handouts to households, the newspaper reported.


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