• Kyodo

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, Komeito, have finalized their respective emergency economic stimulus packages, both centering on steps to bolster domestic demand that has been sluggish since the April 1 consumption tax hike.

The packages include measures to invigorate regional economies and spending by households that face rising prices for imported products due to the yen’s rapid depreciation, the parties said Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s LDP and Komeito are likely to incorporate the policy proposals in their campaign pledges for the Dec. 14 general election.

The parties asked the administration to reflect their proposals in its own economic stimulus package, which expected to be compiled by year’s end and funded by a supplementary budget.

To shore up private spending, both the LDP and Komeito pledged to distribute shopping coupons that can be used locally.

Komeito also urged the Abe administration to provide cash benefits to low-income earners again.

The government has been making a one-time payment of up to ¥15,000 to such people since the consumption tax was raised to 8 percent from 5 percent in April. Komeito also called for the payments to be increased and the qualifying income level to be raised.

Other proposals in the stimulus packages include tax breaks for homebuyers, subsidies for low-income earners buying gasoline and kerosene, and spending for disaster prevention measures following fatal mudslides in Hiroshima and the Ontake volcanic eruption earlier this year.

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