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US Treasury Secretary calls for Japan fiscal support

[LONDON] US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has urged Japan to offer fiscal support to its economy to ensure it returns to growth driven by domestic demand.

Lew made the remark in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, the US Treasury Department said in a statement issued on Sunday.

In the meeting, Lew called on Japan for "calibrating fiscal policy to avoid subtracting from growth in the near term, ensuring that a return to domestic demand-driven growth can support consolidation efforts over the medium term," the statement said.

Japan's economy slid back into recession in July-September as uncertainty over the overseas outlook hurt business investment, data showed on Monday, keeping policymakers under pressure to implement new stimulus measures to support a fragile recovery.

But the government is reluctant to deploy massive fiscal stimulus due to constraints over its finances, with public debt having ballooned to twice the size of its economy.