Japan's new Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said Tuesday it is too early to judge whether Japan needs an extra budget to spur the country's sagging economy.
"It's premature to decide whether we'll introduce fresh stimulus measures," Jojima, who was appointed to the post on Monday in a Cabinet reshuffle unveiled by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, told reporters, adding that he will first assess the business environment for smaller companies and employment conditions.
The remarks reflected his concern of a lack of funding sources, as the divided Diet has failed to approve a bill to issue deficit- covering bonds for the current fiscal year, despite calls by Noda' s ruling Democratic Party of Japan for cooperation from opposition parties.
The country's economy has increasingly shown signs of weakness amid slower overseas economies and tepid domestic demand.
Jojima, 65, also remained cautious about whether the Bank of Japan should start buying foreign government bonds from domestic financial institutions as part of its monetary easing measures to inject liquidity and support economic activity.
Some lawmakers have called on the central bank to consider the option, but Jojima said such a policy "requires careful study."