• Kyodo News


Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday he is considering submitting a draft extra budget to the Diet by the end of next month as the administration looks for funds to finance reconstruction work following the March 11 Tohoku disaster.

“I want to make preparations for compiling and submitting (the draft budget) . . . between mid- and late April,” Noda said.

The Finance Ministry “cannot easily issue additional government bonds” to finance the planned supplementary budget for fiscal 2011, which starts April 1, he said, indicating he may support a proposal that would see the ruling parties secure the necessary funds by shelving or downsizing key policy pledges.

Koichiro Genba, minister of national policy, separately said it would be better for the government to submit the draft budget to the Diet before Golden Week, while declining comment on the size of the envisaged spending.

Genba also said it is important the budget is drawn up based on thorough discussions between the ruling and opposition camps.

Economic and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano said that to find the funds for quake-relief measures, the administration may consider freezing the proposed corporate tax cut, a move that would disappoint corporate managers and even undermine any appetite for companies to boost domestic capital spending.

A bill for tax changes in fiscal 2011 now in the Diet would reduce the corporate income tax rate by 5 percentage points from the current 40 percent, a move hailed by business leaders.

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