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Japan to spend record $488 billion on economic stimulus package

The amount of the package has turned out to be larger than expected, as the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to increase support for households and companies.

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Tokyo: Japan plans to spend a record 55.7 trillion yen (488 billion US dollars) on an economic stimulus package, which is designed to help recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported Thursday.

The total package, including funds that do not lead to immediate spending, will be worth 78.9 trillion yen (690 billion US dollars) and is set to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday.

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The amount of the package has turned out to be larger than expected, as the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to increase support for households and companies.

The key measures in the package include handouts of 100,000 yen (875 US dollars) in cash and vouchers for children aged 18 or younger, wage hikes for nurses and care workers, and financial aid of up to 2.5 million yen (21,900 US dollars) each for smaller companies suffering from the pandemic.

The Japanese government wishes to pass a supplementary budget to fund the package in an extraordinary parliamentary session scheduled by the year-end, and the size of the budget is expected to be 31.9 trillion yen (279 billion US dollars).

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