Salem Radio Network News Monday, November 29, 2021

Business

Aid in Japan’s stimulus package to help defray costlier oil, draft shows

By Takaya Yamaguchi and Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economic stimulus package will feature steps to cushion the blow to firms from rising oil prices, a draft of the government’s plan reviewed by Reuters showed, highlighting the pain global commodity costs have inflicted on the resource-poor nation.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with his position strengthened by an election win last month, has vowed to compile a stimulus package “worth several tens of trillion yen” on Nov. 19 to spur the world’s third largest economy reeling from the COVID-19.

The draft makes no mention of the total size of spending or new borrowing, which will likely be finalised through negotiations with ruling party lawmakers next week.

Surging global crude oil prices, as well as a chip shortage and supply constraints, added to the woes of a trade-reliant economy likely to have shrunk in the third quarter as pandemic curbs and supply bottlenecks undermine consumption and output.

“We will prepare flexible measures on soaring energy costs in the coming stimulus package,” Economy Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa told reporters earlier on Friday.

“Steps will focus on sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as logistics firms, who cannot make a living without using fuel.”

Other measures to be included in the package are steps to ramp up domestic production of semiconductors as well as a 10 trillion yen ($87.5 billion) fund aimed at giving universities more resources to boost science and technological research, the draft showed.

(Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi and Leika Kihara; Additional reporting by Kantaro Komiya, Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Lincoln Feast.)

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