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Japan's finance minister calls for drastic fiscal reform to balance budget

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 10:37
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Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Wednesday that Japan must tackle drastic reform on both spending and tax revenues to achieve its aim of balancing the primary budget by the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

[TOKYO] Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Wednesday that Japan must tackle drastic reform on both spending and tax revenues to achieve its aim of balancing the primary budget by the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

Mr Aso was speaking to reporters after the cabinet approved a record US$812 billion (S$1.08 trillion) budget for the coming fiscal year from April featuring a cut in new borrowing to a six-year low, in a bid to balance growth and fiscal reform.

Mr Aso said the budget was expected to allow Japan to halve its primary budget deficit excluding new bond sales and debt servicing in the coming fiscal year, but the budget-balancing goal in 2020/21 would be extremely difficult to achieve.

REUTERS