Japan presents stimulus package to counter criticism of dovish monetary policy

Japan’s economy turned in a surprisingly strong performance in the final three months of 2017, defying expectations for a deeper slowdown. But the recovery has far from ended, and the country has its eye on the future.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance unveiled a package of measures to stimulate Japan’s economy and create some 750,000 jobs, worth a staggering $490 billion.

A large part of that sum will be spent on government budget spending, though there will also be some funds set aside for infrastructure and credit for businesses.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have reason to be thankful that the economy has held up well after a prolonged period of sluggish growth and rising inflation. Abe is well aware that if his popularity were to falter, the business-friendly policies of his administration could fall apart.

The size of the package is close to the maximum allowed under the so-called stimulus package law, as it keeps growth-promoting measures on the government’s stimulus agenda.

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