Japan Cabinet approves blueprint for spending cuts
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's Cabinet approved on Thursday a blueprint for cuts to welfare and public works spending intended to repair the nation's overstretched finances.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has meanwhile deferred until later this year a decision on hiking Japan's sales tax, which might help fortify public finances, but could do more harm than good if it derails the economic recovery nurtured by Mr Abe's government.
Japan's public debt amounts to more than twice the size of its economy, which is the world's third largest.
Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund reiterated its call for a "credible" fiscal plan to help bring it under control. Mr Abe is expected to respond to that call at a summit of the Group of 20 major developed and emerging economies early next month.