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Aso bids for accord on budget

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Monday asked the opposition for prompt cooperation in passing the bill on the supplementary budget to “solidify the recovery of Japan’s economy.”

Touching on the economy during his financial policy speech to the Diet, Aso repeated that Japan is seeing signs of recovery, including the recent uptrend in stock prices.

It is crucial to nurture this trend into a strong economic recovery and “eliminate the feeling of despair among the public,” said Aso, a former prime minister who is serving concurrently as vice prime minister under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

It is a matter of the highest priority for the Cabinet to put an end to deflation and the prolonged appreciation of the yen, while creating more jobs and increasing wages, he said.

Regarding last month’s joint statement with the Bank of Japan that set a 2 percent inflation target for the first time, Aso said the government is ready to do its part.

“We will push forward agile macroeconomic policies and strengthen (corporate) competitiveness and growth,” the finance minister said.

Although Aso pledged that the government will work to achieve a sound fiscal balance, his speech also touched on the extra debt that will be generated by the supplementary budget. To finance the ¥10.3 trillion in spending for the extra budget, the government plans to issue another ¥5.2 trillion in bonds, Aso said.