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Japan PM orders $100 bln economic stimulus

  Japan plans another stimulus package worth $100 billion or more to rescue Asia’s biggest economy from its worst crisis since World War II, its finance minister said Monday.

Prime Minister Taro Aso instructed Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano to plan public spending worth at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), Yosano told reporters. That would make the package worth ¥10 trillion ($100 billion) or more. Aso first announced the new spending plan last month, but he did not say at the time how much it would be worth.

It would be the third stimulus since last October to pump up the Japanese economy, which logged its worst performance in almost 35 years in the last quarter of 2008, contracting at an annualized pace of 12.1%. The government has described the economic crisis as the worst since World War II.

The new package is expected to include measures to help laid-off workers, to help cash-strapped companies secure access to credit and to encourage greater use of solar energy technologies. (The Economic Times