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Japan economics minister Amari hospitalized; govt says no policy impact
December 2, 2013 / 3:03 AM / 4 years ago

Japan economics minister Amari hospitalized; govt says no policy impact

Japan's Economics Minister Akira Amari smiles as he attends a news conference after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not pictured) announced a raise in the sales tax rate in Tokyo October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari was hospitalized on Monday for tests, but his absence will likely not disrupt the crafting of an economic stimulus package, the government said.

The Cabinet Office said the tests would last three or four days. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to give further details on Amari’s condition, citing privacy concerns.

Amari’s hospitalization could overlap with the government’s expected announcement of a 5 trillion yen economic stimulus package on Thursday.

But Suga played down the possibility of a disruption in completing the measures, telling a regular news conference that Amari “can issue various instructions from the hospital, so I don’t think there will be any effect.”

Whether Amari is able to attend a multilateral meeting on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact in Singapore from Saturday will depend on the results of the tests, Suga said.

Amari had discussed the TPP with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in Tokyo on Sunday.

The government is expected to approve a supplementary budget bill on December 12, a government official said last week.

Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Kim Coghill

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