Tokyo: Japan unveiled on Friday a record
trillion-dollar budget for next year despite growing worries
about its debt mountain, seeking to revive an economy hit by
its worst downturn in decades.
The move came as a batch of data added to worries that
Japan`s economic recovery is running out of steam, with the
jobless rate rising and deflation continuing to hobble the
world`s number two economy.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama`s three-month-old
government approved an unprecedented budget worth 92.3
trillion yen (1.0 trillion dollars) for the next financial
year starting in April.
It predicted that Asia`s biggest economy would grow 1.4
percent next year, marking the first expansion in three years,
as it claws back from the worst downturn in decades.
"I will do my best to avoid a double-dip recession,"
Hatoyama told a news conference.
Hatoyama, who marked his first 100 days in office this
week, has moved to slash what his party deems to be wasteful
public spending and redirect money to struggling households.
His budget plan will pile further pressure on Japan`s
ailing public finances. The government will issue new bonds
worth a record 44.3 trillion yen to cover the spending plans.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
has warned that Japan`s public debt is set to soar to more
than 200 per cent of gross domestic product by 2011.