The government Tuesday announced a ¥7.2 trillion emergency stimulus package, some 2.7 times more than the originally planned ¥2.7 trillion, to buoy the Japanese economy. Apart from the rather questionable economic impact of the package, confusion in the Cabinet and lack of leadership on the part of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama during its compilation have left people uneasy about the government’s ability to tackle the difficult economic situation.

The package is expected to have a ripple effect worth ¥24.4 trillion because of such measures as expanding the guarantee for emergency loans for small and midsize enterprises from ¥30 trillion to ¥36 trillion. It will earmark some ¥800 billion for environment-related measures, including extension of incentives for the purchase of environmentally friendly cars and other products, and some ¥600 billion for improving the employment situation. But many of the package’s measures have been carried over from the previous administration.

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