Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has passed a $29 billion stimulus package aimed at pulling the country’s economy out of recession. Terrence Terashima reported this story from Tokyo.
Abe started his third term in office by approving the package and he vowed to place economic recovery on top of his agenda, after rising criticism from the public that his Abenomics may have been a failure.
Japan PM Shinzo Abe passes $29.17B stimulus packageJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has passed a $29 billion stimulus package aimed at pulling the country's economy out of recession. Terrence Terashima reported this story from Tokyo
“We have number of difficult challenges ahead, taking the country out of deflation, social security reform, rebuilding diplomacy and national security. Our biggest task is to ensure the success of the Abenomics,” Abe said.
The prime minister faces mounting pressure to restore growth as a sales tax hikes in April dragged the economy back into recession. Following his recent re-election, Abe needs to show visible signs of economic recovery to skeptic Japanese public.
“My company is not affected by the deprecating yen but many people around me said they are very much on the wrong end of it. Many people around do not have confidence for recovery anytime soon,” one Japanese resident who did not give his name said.
Despite the Abe cabinet’s new stimulus package, public confidence is rather low. Many said they want to see more specific measures than just distributing budgets, such as improving childcare for working mothers.
Many also said they have not felt the benefits of economic recovery.
“I have some hopes for the Abenomics, but at the moment it has too much weight on bringing back corporate strength. So I hope benefits will trickled down and reflect on our wages,” another Japanese resident who also did not give his name said.
The government hopes that this package will enable the Bank of Japan to achieve its inflation target and improve the GDP figures.
However, analysts said that more should be placed into supporting small businesses and local economies, than allocating large amount into public works, which was ineffective in the previous economic package.
The government is planning to allocate $10 billion to support small businesses and low-income households with coupons and subsidies for local governments.