Japan considers $139 billion in stimulus

Dec. 13, 2008 at 3:33 PM
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TOKYO, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Japan's prime minister says his nation needs a $139 billion stimulus package to offset damage caused by the U.S. financial crisis.

"The financial crisis triggered by the United States is beginning to affect the actual economy with unusual speed," said Taro Aso, noting "the recession has worsened beyond our imagination."

Japan's Parliament is to convene Jan. 5 -- earlier than usual -- to consider the stimulus package and to pass an extra budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2008, The Japan Times reported Saturday.

The proposed stimulus package would focus on job creation, keeping people in their jobs and corporate financing amid a deteriorating job market.

"This great international depression is said to be one in 100 years, and Japan cannot escape this tsunami," Aso said. "But with appropriate measures taken without delay, I think it is possible to keep the damage at a minimum."

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