Kishida to Instruct Compilation of Economic Package Tues.


Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that he will instruct Tuesday his government to compile by the end of April an emergency economic package to tackle soaring crude oil prices, the novel coronavirus pandemic and other challenges.

At a meeting of the Audit Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the country's parliament, Kishida also indicated that 5 trillion yen in coronavirus-related reserve funds set aside under the government's fiscal 2022 budget will be used to finance measures in the planned package. He did not rule out the possibility of compiling a supplementary budget in the near future.

"We must respond flexibly to the impacts of rising prices of crude oil and other goods on people's daily lives in order to ensure a recovery in socioeconomic activities from the COVID-19 crisis," he said. "To do this, I plan on instructing (the government) to put together emergency economic measures by the end of April." Kishida also said, "We will act quickly by using (fiscal 2022 budget) reserves."

The government will work swiftly on the proposed unfreezing of the so-called trigger provision to realize a temporary gasoline tax cut to combat surging prices, based on discussions among the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner, Komeito, and the opposition Democratic Party for the People, he said.

Following a widespread backlash on a ruling bloc proposal to hand out around 5,000 yen per pensioner, Kishida said, "We'd like to fully discuss whether (the step) is really necessary as part of the economic measures."

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Jiji Press