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Japan approves US$5.3 bil. budget to boost economy

TOKYO -- Japan on Friday approved a US$5.3 billion cash injection to boost the stuttering economy, a move likely to add pressure for more central bank measures with a general election looming on the horizon.

In a package that earmarked cash for the coastguard amid an island dispute with China, the cabinet agreed the 422.6 billion yen in emergency spending, with money to be coming mainly from reserve funds rather than new debt.

The relatively small aid package was expected to add pressure on the Bank of Japan to extend its 80 trillion yen asset-purchase scheme after a policy meeting next week, analysts said, as Japan's post-disaster economic recovery slows.

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