September 26, 2017 / 2:06 AM / 10 months ago

Need new time frame to hit budget-balancing goal: Japan Finance Minister

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that the government would need to craft a new time frame for achieving its budget-balancing goal, currently set at fiscal 2020/21.

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso (C) arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

He made the remarks a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he would redirect some revenue from a planned sales tax hike in 2019 to child care and education rather than paying back public debt. Abe admitted that would make it difficult to meet the government’s aim of balancing the budget - excluding debt-servicing costs and new bond sales - by the year ending in March 2021.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Aso also said it was worth considering measures to encourage companies to spend their cash pile on boosting wages and capital expenditure.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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