Japan to improve bank settlement system, add jobs in economic growth strategy

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s government will review bank transfer fees as part of a broader move to improve digital payment systems, an outline of this year’s economic growth strategy showed on Friday.

The government will also make it easier for working people, such as freelancers to take on extra jobs and also aims to improve digital advertising rules, according to the outline.

The Council on Investments for the Future on Friday kicked off debate over this year’s mid- to long-term growth strategy, which forms a pillar of the government’s economic policy.

The government hopes to approve the final version of this year’s growth strategy through a Cabinet decision around mid-July, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters at a news conference after the council meeting.

The growth strategy is normally approved some time in June but the government is finalising it later than usual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s third-largest economy slipped into recession in the three months through March and is seen suffering its worst postwar slump in the current quarter, with economists expecting an annualised contraction of over 20%.

The government plans to spend a combined $2.2 trillion in two stimulus packages to combat the heavy shock to overseas and domestic demand from the virus outbreak.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, editing by Louise Heavens