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Abe prepares stimulus package to kickstart Japanese economy

By Lawrence Gash

Plans to boost growth balanced by concern over further debt

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, has instructed his cabinet to draw up plans for a stimulus package. This would support the country’s economy and build infrastructure to help it withstand natural disasters.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s economy minister, told a news conference: “I’ve received an instruction from the prime minister to compile a new economic package to guard against the chance overseas risks may hurt Japan’s economy.”

Japan faces a number of long-term threats to its financial stability. The country is suffering from a labour shortage caused by an ageing population and declining birth rates, coupled with decades of economic stagnation.

Abe has aimed for a balance between increasing growth while reducing public debt, the highest in the developed world at around $10tn (£7.8tn, €9tn).

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the package included aggressive use of fiscal investment and loan programmes.

There are concerns that further borrowing in the pursuit of growth will only exacerbate the country’s debt problems. Further economic data will be reported on November 14.

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