December 5, 2017 / 1:04 AM / a year ago

Japan economy minister sees extra education spending on top of $18 billion package

Japanese Minister of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi attends a news conference on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Meeting during APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam, November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

TOKYO (Reuters) - Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday there would be additional spending for recurrent education, on top of the government’s planned 2 trillion yen ($17.8 billion) economic package, to help address the challenges of Japan’s shrinking labor force.

Motegi did not say how much spending would be involved for such education, which is aimed at keeping people involved in the workforce over an ever-longer lifespan and which he compared to preventative medical care.

“It’s not about how to respond when one becomes unemployed, but rather how to avoid the situation of becoming unemployed,” Motegi told reporters after a regular cabinet meeting.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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