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Japan speeds up stimulus as tax hike looms

Published on Feb 14, 2014 3:16 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan said on Friday it is moving to speed up the impact of a US$50 billion (S$63.29 billion) stimulus package aimed at countering any slowdown from a looming sales tax hike.

The rare move - which sets out a timeline for spending a big chunk of the special budget - comes days before the release of fourth-quarter growth figures.

They will mark the first annual data since Shinzo Abe swept to power on a ticket to restore Japan's fading status as a global economic superpower.

The prime minister's high-profile policy blitz, dubbed Abenomics, helped sharply weaken the yen and stoked a huge stock market rally last year as the once-anaemic economy outpaced G7 nations in the first half of 2013.

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