Japan's Suga signals readiness to compile 3rd extra budget to fight pandemic

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker, speaks during a news conference to announce his candidacy for the party's leadership election, in Tokyo, Japan September 2, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japans Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Thursday signaled readiness to compile a third extra budget to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic if he succeeds outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“I will do what needs to be done while watching circumstances,” Suga, seen as the frontrunner to succeed Abe, told a Fuji TV programme.

Suga also said he would consider what people want the government to do amid the pandemic, when asked whether as premier he would call a snap election, adding that “it would depend on circumstances”.

Suga stuck with his stance of cutting mobile phone services fees in Japan.

“Large-volume cellphones remain in the state of oligopoly of 90% by three carriers with the world’s most expensive fees. I’d like to take drastic measures and lower the fees by around 40%.”

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Gareth Jones