Yoshihide- Japan ruling party heavyweight calls for $239-bln extra budget
* Govt to compile extra budget in Oct or Nov – Yamamoto
* Adds BOJ must boost asset buying to weaken yen
* Tokyo to hold Olympic Games as scheduled – Yamamoto
TOKYO, May 26 (Reuters) – Japan’s government is expected to
compile an extra budget in October or November, senior ruling
party lawmaker Kozo Yamamoto said on Wednesday, calling for
spending of around $239 billion to cushion the economic blow
from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yamamoto, a heavyweight close to former Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, also urged the Bank of Japan to ramp up asset buying
to weaken the yen further and help the export-reliant economy.
“The BOJ must do more because Japan appears to be sliding
back to deflation. Instead, the BOJ is stealth tapering asset
purchases,” Yamamoto told Reuters in an interview.
“The BOJ should seek to weaken the yen more” by boosting
government bond purchases and looking for new assets to buy such
as municipal and foreign bonds, he said.
Yamamoto called for compiling a 26-trillion-yen ($239
billion) extra budget as soon as possible to pull the
pandemic-hit economy out of the doldrums, a proposal he made at
a party panel headed by Abe.
Yamamoto said he submitted the proposal to Prime Minister
Yoshihide Suga, but added that Diet deliberations over an extra
budget will likely have to wait until an expected lower house
election in autumn.
Commenting on the Olympic Games, Yamamoto said he expects
Tokyo to proceed as scheduled in July even if that meant no
A former finance ministry bureaucrat, Yamamoto was
considered a key architect of the former premier’s “Abenomics”
reflationary policy comprised of bold monetary policy, flexible
fiscal spending and reform.
($1 = 108.8000 yen)
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto, Leika Kihara and Takaya
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)