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Japan to spend US$113m on anti-terrorism in extra budget: govt sources

[TOKYO] Japan's government will spend 14 billion yen (S$159 million) on anti-terrorism measures, in the wake of the Paris attacks and other recent incidents, as part of a 3.3 trillion yen extra stimulus budget planned for this fiscal year, government sources told Reuters.

The anti-terrorism steps include information gathering abroad, beefing up security around government offices, foreign embassies in Tokyo and other areas as Japan prepares to host the Group of Seven summit in May next year, according to the officials, who requested anonymity as the plan has not been finalised.

The extra spending will pay for an information gathering unit focused on international terrorism that is being established this month, and for new staff being assigned to diplomatic missions in the Middle East, as well as bullet-proof cars to guard foreign embassies in Tokyo, the sources said.

Of the 3.3 trillion yen extra stimulus budget, the government will spend 1.2 trillion yen on steps to support low-income households in a bid to spur consumption; 0.3 trillion yen to help farmers cope with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal.

The government will tap higher-than-expected tax revenue for the current fiscal year, ending in March 2016, and budget reserves left over from the previous year to fund the stimulus spending, while trimming its plans to issue new bonds by 450 billion yen this fiscal year.

The government hopes the stimulus spending will help boost an economy that has slipped into recession, while achieving its aim of halving Japan's primary budget deficit in the current fiscal year as part of a plan to fix the country's dire public finances.