Japan’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a stimulus package that includes 7.5 trillion yen (US$73 billion) in new spending, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to revive the nation’s sluggish economy.
Under the program, the government will pump money into infrastructure projects, such as upgrading ports and building food-processing facilities to increase exports of farm products, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A supplementary budget later this month will provide direct spending of about 4 trillion yen in the fiscal year ending in March.
The spending program, which has a total value of 28 trillion yen over several years, represents a political test for Abe, who has struggled to deliver sustained growth, the Journal noted.
As part of the package, the government will provide cash handouts of 15,000 yen each to 22 million low-income people, bring more workers into a public-pension system by easing admission criteria, and offer more college scholarships.
In addition, the stimulus plan promises more child-care facilities for working parents, and money to help employers provide longer maternity leave — both aimed at addressing the nation’s labor shortage.
Abe has vowed to help more people play productive roles in Japanese society following criticism that his early policies benefited mostly big corporations.
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