• Kyodo


The government plans to spend around ¥400 billion ($3.7 billion) to supply more computers to public schools as part of an economic stimulus package, government sources said Friday.

State and local outlays for the package, which will be formulated early next month, are expected to total around ¥10 trillion, including ¥3 trillion worth of investment and loans for infrastructure development, the sources said.

The stimulus measures will be financed by an extra budget for fiscal 2019 and an initial budget for fiscal 2020, both of which will be drafted next month.

To use information and communications technology in education, the government will ensure each student from the fifth to ninth grades has access to a computer at school.

Nationwide, an average of 5.4 students share one computer in public elementary and junior high schools across the country, according to the education ministry.

The government will also financially support efforts to set up wireless networks in classrooms and to introduce educational software, the sources said.

As for infrastructure development, the government will extend around ¥400 billion in loans to finance projects such as a third runway at Narita airport by the end of fiscal 2028, the sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this month instructed his ministers to draw up the stimulus package to safeguard growth following the consumption tax hike in October to 10 percent.

The government will also earmark around ¥150 billion to subsidize purchases of vehicles with automatic braking and other advanced safety systems, as well as nearly ¥100 billion to develop highly advanced “post-5G” wireless network technologies, the sources said.

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