Japan Approves $10.7 Billion Stimulus

Japan’s cabinet approved a $10.7 billion economic stimulus package just weeks before an election the ruling party is expected to lose, while analysts questioned its likely benefits.

The new spending of 880 billion yen ($10.7 billion) was more than double a package announced in October as the country gets set for polls that most say will usher in its seventh prime minister in six years.

Friday’s move, which came as official data showed Japan posted a surprise uptick in factory production last month, will also likely trigger vote-buying criticism from opposition lawmakers.

The spending — which will come out of reserve funds — will focus on boosting growth in a range of sectors, including healthcare and agriculture, as well as on public works projects following last year’s quake-tsunami disaster.

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Japan Approves New $5.3 Billion Stimulus

Japans Cabinet approved a 423 billion yen $5.3 billion economic stimulus package on Friday, moving to fend off recession as the recovery in the worlds third biggest economy falters.

The emergency spending package, which is double the size originally expected, is also meant to help make up for lost momentum from reconstruction in the region devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Nodas leeway to boost spending is limited by a legislative standoff preventing issuance of deficit-covering bonds. Noda has ordered the government to draft further measures to boost growth by next month.

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