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Health check for Japan’s ailing economy, sickly yen

TOKYO – Shigeyuki Goto isn’t getting much of a honeymoon as Japan’s newly minted economic revitalization minister. Tokyo rolled out its latest stimulus package the same week he’s moving into his new office.

Goto’s first task is implementing the 29.1 trillion yen (US$199 billion) stimulus plan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Friday (October 28). It’s aimed at boosting growth and easing the impact of rising prices on consumers and companies as Kishida’s year-old government loses more and more support. It also increases incentives for companies to boost wages.

“I will do my best to deliver various measures in this comprehensive economic package to the people so that they can feel that we are supporting their lives,” Kishida told reporters Friday. Then – in what may be an inauspicious sign – hours after his press briefing, he tested positive for Covid-19.