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Japan may consider further stimulus package for COVID-19-hit economy - minister

Reuters reports that a prominent cabinet minister said that Japan could consider fresh economic stimulus, including a possible fourth extra budget, as the government expands a state of emergency amid a record surge in coronavirus infections.

"Suddenly demand has gone, so I think the government, if it is necessary, will be willing to inject money into the economy," Taro Kono, the administrative and regulatory reform minister, said.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday expanded a state of emergency from the Tokyo area to seven more prefectures amid criticism that his government had acted too slowly to curb the pandemic.

Those emergency measures could last longer than the one month period initially set by the government, Kono said.

"If it is necessary the government will think about extending it of course. We need to strike the balance between managing the COVID-19 and managing the economy," he said.

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