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$204b stimulus package

Bbc.Co.Uk
Monday, January 14, 2013

THE Japanese government has approved a fresh 10.3 trillion yen ($F204billion) stimulus package in an attempt to spur a revival in its economy.

The package will include infrastructure spending, as well as incentives for businesses to boost investment.

The government said the stimulus was likely to boost Japan's gross domestic product by two percentage points.

Japan's economy has been hurt by a dip in exports amid slowing global demand and subdued domestic consumption.

The world's third-largest economy is currently in a recession, having contracted for two quarters in a row.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's new prime minister, has promised to take aggressive measures to help put the economy back on a growth track.

He has called upon Japan's central bank, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to implement measures, including doubling its inflation target to 2 per cent to help revive growth.

The government reiterated his stance, saying it was looking to "build a framework for strengthening cooperation" with the central bank and called on the bank to ease its policies in coming months.

"We strongly expect the BOJ to conduct aggressive monetary easing with a clear price target," it said in a statement.

Mr Abe has also promised to take measures to weaken the yen.

A weaker Japanese currency bodes well for the country's exporters as it makes their goods less expensive to foreign buyers and also helps boost their profits when they repatriate their foreign earnings back home.

The yen has weakened nearly 12 per cent against the US dollar since November last year on hopes of such moves.

The government said that it would continue to keep a watch on the currency's movements and "respond as appropriate".