November 16, 2015 / 4:22 AM / 2 years ago

U.S. Treasury Secretary calls for Japan fiscal support

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gives a news conference at the 2015 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, October 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

(Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has urged Japan to offer fiscal support to its economy to ensure it returns to growth driven by domestic demand.

Lew made the remark in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement issued on Sunday.

In the meeting, Lew called on Japan for “calibrating fiscal policy to avoid subtracting from growth in the near term, ensuring that a return to domestic demand-driven growth can support consolidation efforts over the medium term,” the statement said.

Japan’s economy slid back into recession in July-September as uncertainty over the overseas outlook hurt business investment, data showed on Monday, keeping policymakers under pressure to implement new stimulus measures to support a fragile recovery.

But the government is reluctant to deploy massive fiscal stimulus due to constraints over its finances, with public debt having ballooned to twice the size of its economy.

Reporting by Leika Kihara in TOKYO; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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