Japan’s new prime minister is on the war path for wasteful projects in the extra budget spending approved by the man he’s just replaced.
Yukio Hatoyama wants a full review of the more than 100 billion euros stimulus spending which have pulled the moribund Japanese economy out of recession – just. When Hatoyama’s new cabinet took office this week he repeated his election pledges to focus spending on consumers. He told parliament: “The prospects for the economy are still unclear. So it boils down to us hopefully providing, as fast as possible, the policies that will loosen the burdens that are currently placed on people’s wallets.” Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan – which defeated the long-ruling Liberal Democrats – stressed it does not plan to cut the stimulus spending but to redirect it as well as reduce bureaucrats’ control over policy. One programme that is likely to be scrapped is a museum to house a national collection of ‘manga’ comic-books, a particular favourite of former PM Taro Aso.