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(Update) Japanese Panel Calls for Strengthening Fiscal Resilience

(Update) Japanese Panel Calls for Strengthening Fiscal Resilience

   Tokyo, May 21 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government advisory panel stressed the need Tuesday to strengthen the country's fiscal resilience after the Bank of Japan ended its negative interest rate policy earlier this year.
   The Fiscal System Council, which advises the finance minister, warned in its written opinion that Japan's fiscal health, already the worst among developed countries, will deteriorate further if debt servicing costs swell. The central bank in March raised short-term interest rates to a range of zero to 0.1 pct from minus 0.1 pct, its first rate increase in 17 years.
   The council submitted the opinion to Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki the same day.
   "Higher interest rates will pull up interest payment costs substantially," Hiroya Masuda, president of Japan Post Holdings Co. and acting chief of the council's fiscal system subcommittee, told a press conference after presenting the position statement. "Fiscal authorities should be more vigilant now."
   "I believe fiscal soundness is of utmost priority" in the government's upcoming economic and fiscal policy guidelines, Suzuki said.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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