Japan Noda: July target for 2nd extra budget for quake

TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) – The Japanese government aims to submit a second extra budget for reconstruction following the March 11 earthquake to parliament early in July, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a news conference.

Noda said Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered the cabinet on Tuesday to compile the budget.

But mounting pressure for the unpopular premier to step down soon is casting doubts over whether his cabinet will be able to carry out the spending needed to rebuild the country’s northeast, which was devastated by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

The extra budget would come on top of one for 4 trillion yen ($50 billion) approved early last month, and the government will avoid issuing extra bonds to finance the spending, Noda said.

“Prime Minister Kan ordered (us) to compile a supplementary budget … to urgently respond to areas that have not been sufficiently covered by the first extra budget,” Noda told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

Noda added that further extra budgets will come in the future.

The extra budget is aimed at covering areas including those related to the nuclear crisis triggered by the earthquake and support to the victims who are facing loan problems.

National Strategy Minister Koichiro Gemba said the second extra budget is likely to smaller in size than the first, Jiji news agency reported on Tuesday. ($1 = 80.225 Japanese Yen)