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Japan plans to boost domestic investment

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has instructed Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima to compile “a programme to promote domestic investment” by October.


Kan plans to incorporate part of the blueprint into a fresh stimulus he will outline on Tuesday, the Yomiuri Shimbun and other media reported.

“In order to fix the economy, the first to do is (create) jobs, the second to do is jobs,” Kan told reporters Saturday, the Yomiuri said.

The main feature of the plan would be measures to promote domestic investment from some 200 trillion yen (2.36 trillion dollars) of cash and deposits kept by Japanese companies, the reports said.

Kan renewed pressure on the central bank to take additional monetary easing measures, reportedly saying: “I’d like to see the Bank of Japan governor as soon as he returns (from a trip to the United States) and mention what we expect them to do.”

The reports came as Kan said Friday he would outline measures to counter the effects of the yen’s strength this week, implying possible intervention by saying he would take “determined steps when necessary”.

The measures could include subsidies for buying environmentally friendly goods, job creation programmes, financial aid to small and mid-sized companies and public spending on infrastructure such as hospitals, a senior official of Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan has said.

The yen this week hit 15-year highs against the dollar, threatening exporters as it erodes repatriated profits, inflicting damage on Japan’s key growth driver.

Roughly 40 percent of Japanese firms say they would move factories overseas if the yen stays at its current high of around 85 to the dollar, according to an official survey released Friday.

Earlier reports Saturday said the BOJ will likely hold an emergency policy meeting early this week to discuss additional monetary easing.