Ruling coalition and opposition policymakers lined up Sunday to urge Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to scrap his pledge to limit the issuance of new government bonds.
Koizumi has promised to cap such bonds at 30 trillion yen for this fiscal year to pave the way for an extra budget.
“The 30 trillion yen cap is a way to maintain fiscal discipline, (but) the economy as a whole is getting considerably worse. Land prices and interest rates are low, so the time is now to put money into appropriate public projects if it is possible,” said Taro Aso, head of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party, on a Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) program.
Kazuo Kitagawa of the New Komeito party and Kiichi Inoue of the New Conservative Party — Aso’s counterparts among the LDP’s coalition partners — said on the program that the bond-issuance cap makes no sense and an extra budget featuring public works projects is needed to boost the economy.
Their opposition-camp counterparts, Hirohisa Fujii of the Liberal Party, Hideyo Fudesaka of the Japanese Communist Party and Masako Owaki of the Social Democratic Party, also added their support to scrapping the cap.
Meanwhile, Banri Kaieda, policy chief of the main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, said on the program that the government should draft an extra budget for the current fiscal year through next March. He also urged Koizumi to take responsibility if he breaks his promise on the bond issuance cap.
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