China Coronavirus Emerging Risk to Japan Economy: IMF

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Washington, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--A senior International Monetary Fund official has warned that the spread of a new coronavirus poses an emerging downside risk to Japan's economy.

The spread of the virus originating in China's Wuhan "would likely affect Japan's tourism and retail activities through a decline in tourist arrivals and spending from China and elsewhere," said Paul Cashin, the IMF's Japan mission chief.

"We continue to monitor the situation closely," he said, referring to the possibility that the outbreak could cause negative effects through bilateral trade and investment channels.

Cashin was in charge of the IMF's 2019 article IV consultation to review the Japanese economy. A staff report on the outcome of the review was released Monday.

In the report, the IMF called for "gradual increases in the consumption tax rate and cuts to age-related expenditures to reduce debt sustainability risks."

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