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Japan unveils economic stimulus package

Japan's new government has approved a stimulus package worth 20 trillion yen ($225 billion). It is designed to pull the world's third-largest economy out of recession.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined the details of the new stimulus package at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday. He said it would include measures to stimulate investment, boost the economy and create jobs.

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Japanese PM unveils stimulus package

"With the measures, we will achieve real GDP growth of 2 percent and 600,000 jobs created," Abe told the briefing. "It is crucially important to break out of prolonged deflation and the high yen."

Among the new measures are plans to rebuild disaster-struck areas, make more schools and hospitals earthquake-resistant, and upgrade Japan's aging infrastructure. Around 180 billion yen has also been set aside to develop Japan's military.

Japan's government remains the most highly indebted in the world as it struggles to overcome the effects of a stronger yen, falling exports, the contagion from the eurozone debt crisis and growing tensions with China, the nation's largest trading partner.

In the July to September quarter Japan's economy reportedly shrank by 3.5 percent. Between April and June it shrank by 0.1 percent.

Abe's Liberal Democratic Party stormed to power in parliamentary elections in December after pledging to introduce stimulus initiatives. His tough stance on relations with China was also widely welcomed.

ccp/jr (AFP, dpa)

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