Press Conference by Shizuka Kamei, Minister for Financial Services


(Tuesday, December 15, 2009, from 11:34 a.m. to 11:46 a.m.)

[Opening Remarks by Minister Kamei]

Today, we first adopted a basic policy for the compilation of the budget for the next fiscal year at a meeting of the Basic Policy Cabinet Committee. This policy was also approved at the subsequent cabinet meeting. Regarding the contents of the policy, I presume that your interest is focused on the prospect of government bond issuance. While we will set a ceiling of 44 trillion yen, the leaders of the three ruling parties agreed that (existing) special accounts (of the budget) should be thoroughly reviewed in order to raise budget funds -- the « People's New Party » has strongly argued this point at meetings of the working group. After the review of the special accounts, we will issue government bonds to cover a tax revenue shortfall. As a precondition, we must drastically cut fund allocations to special accounts, which are used to, we may say, bankroll discretionary expenditures by bureaucrats, so as to free up funds. While the leaders of the three ruling parties had already agreed on that point, it was agreed at the working group that we should do so without leaving anything sacred and untouched, as Mr. Shimoji, who is chairman of the Policy Research Council (of the People's New Party), stressed that we should.

From now on, we will consider specifically what policy measures to implement and what projects to carry out. Although some people say the economy is gradually recovering, deflation is continuing to progress, which is an extraordinary situation. Therefore, as I do not believe that it is wrong to say that the economy is still in recession, the government should candidly admit to the continuing recession and compile a bold budget. The total amount of budget expenditure depends on what measures to take. We will seriously consider what we need to do from now on. As a result, the total amount of the fiscal 2010 budget will be determined.


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