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Japan supplementary budget may reach $136B

Published By United Press International
TOKYO, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The new Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning a supplementary budget of up to $136 billion, sources told Kyodo News.

The Abe government's package for the fiscal ending in March would include more than $34 billion for public works projects, the report said.

Abe, committed to reviving the country's deflation-hit economy, returned as prime minister after his Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections last month. The export-driven economy also has been affected by a strong yen, which makes Japanese exports more expensive.

Kyodo said government offices were required to submit their requests for the emergency spending plan by Monday. It quoted sources as saying Abe's Cabinet is expected to approve the draft budget by next Tuesday before forwarding it to Parliament.

The new budget is expected to be financed through bonds as part of the government's monetary easing effort. The previous government, however, had capped issuing new debt because of Japan's already huge public debt.

Money for public works would likely include $114 million for battery-recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles as sought by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Kyodo said.

Other projects would largely focus on nationwide infrastructure repairs and the construction of earthquake-resistant roads, bridges and tunnels, the report said.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa