TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio aims to unveil an emergency package of economic measures to tackle soaring prices at a press conference as early as April 22, sources familiar with the matter said.
The government is expected to formally adopt the package as early as April 26, the sources said.
But Kishida’s ruling coalition is apart over how to finance the package. His Liberal Democratic Party and its partner, Komeito, are set to start talks to narrow differences on Monday.
Kishida told parliament Friday that his government plans to first tap budget reserves to finance the package as it seeks to act swiftly, indicating his cautious attitude to Komeito’s request for compiling a supplementary budget.
The government and the LDP plan to tap reserve funds totaling 5.5 trillion yen set aside under the government’s fiscal 2022 budget. One plan calls for using some 2 trillion yen to finance the package.
They also plan to draw up another economic package after this summer’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, and compile a supplementary budget for the package.
In its proposal Thursday, Komeito urged the government to enact a supplementary budget during the current parliamentary session set to end in June.
At a press conference on Friday, Komeito Secretary-General Keiichi Ishii called for enacting a supplementary budget ahead of the Upper House election.
“If the government taps the reserve funds, it needs to replenish them” under an extra budget, Ishii said.
A supplementary budget needs to be discussed at the Budget Committees of both parliamentary chambers.
The government and the LDP are concerned that if the committees meet to discuss an extra budget, Kishida will be grilled by opposition lawmakers just before the Upper House election.
Some in the government and the LDP call for increasing the size of the emergency package to some 3.5 trillion yen or including 100,000 yen in cash handouts per person to needy households in the package to get Komeito to give up its extra budget request.