• Kyodo News


The government is drafting a ¥6 trillion information technology-related fiscal stimulus plan that includes subsidies to citizens who replace their appliances with new energy-saving models, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

The three-year plan offers to pay ¥5,000 for each new purchase of an energy-efficient appliance, such as an air conditioner or refrigerator, the sources said.

It will also offer ¥10,000 subsidies for antennas designed to receive terrestrial digital TV broadcasts in an attempt to encourage electronics purchases to bolster the flagging economy, they said.

It also calls for sending Internet content to elementary and junior high school students residing in mountainous areas or remote islands to improve their knowledge of foreign languages and other subjects they might come across during entrance exams.

The details of the ¥6 trillion stimulus plan will be settled around late March after consulting a council that advises Prime Minister Taro Aso.

The IT program will constitute part of a larger fiscal policy package being drawn up by the ruling coalition. Some legislators have proposed boosting the size of fiscal expenditures under the larger package to ¥20 trillion or more.

The IT plan will be the core of the larger package, but it is expected to be financed by a supplementary budget for fiscal 2009 and subsequent measures expected to be taken for the three-year period lasting through fiscal 2011, the sources said.

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