March 19, 2020 / 2:28 AM / 12 days ago

Japan must be mindful of fiscal situation when compiling stimulus, finance minister says

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan must be mindful of its fiscal situation when compiling an economic stimulus package to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, given the risk that big fiscal spending could lead to deficit-covering bond issuance, Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday.

Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting that the size of the stimulus package has not been decided, when asked about a media report on big fiscal spending to be compiled as early as next month.

Aso suggested that tax cuts may be included in the package, but he dismissed the idea of a cut in the sales tax. The finance ministry is not considering cash payouts to individuals as part of the package, he added, saying that such measures had little impact on stimulating consumption.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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