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Senior government and ruling coalition officials have agreed to convene a 72-day extraordinary Diet session to begin on Sept. 21 and end Dec. 1, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said Monday.

Meanwhile, the government and the coalition also began planning the supplementary budget for fiscal 2000, an issue expected to be covered in the extra session, following the day’s release of gross domestic product data for the April-June quarter.

In separate meetings, Economic Planning Agency chief Taichi Sakaiya, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, and Shizuka Kamei, policy affairs chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, agreed on the need to implement fiscal measures to ensure economic recovery.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Sakaiya said he personally believes the size of the next supplementary budget should be at least 3 trillion yen.

Meanwhile, Miyazawa said that leaders of the government and the ruling coalition will hold two formal meetings to work out a package of economic measures in mid-October that will be followed by the compilation of the extra budget in November.

Kamei had earlier maintained that a layout of more than 10 trillion yen, including actual spending totaling 5 trillion yen, is needed for fiscal 2000.

But as Japan’s GDP expanded in the April-June quarter for the second consecutive quarter, Miyazawa wants to avoid compiling a huge extra budget that would require the government to make another huge issuance of government bonds.

The matter is of particular concern to the Finance Ministry, since long-term interest rates seem set to rise.

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told reporters Friday in New York that he is mulling a large-scale extra budget, although not as large as the 10 trillion yen previously proposed by policy affairs chief Kamei.

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