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State’s credibility at stake over new refusal to probe land sale scandal

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The Diet on March 27 enacted the fiscal 2020 budget, designed to finance more than 100 trillion yen ($925 billion) in government spending for the year starting in April.

With the basic spending plan for the new fiscal year in place, the government will now move to hammer out a package of measures to mitigate the potentially devastating economic impact of the new coronavirus pandemic and formulate the first supplementary budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Speaking at a March 27 Upper House Budget Committee, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the current situation does not yet require him to declare a state of emergency under the revised special measures law to respond to outbreaks of new strains of influenza.

But there is no telling how things will go from now on, given that the number of confirmed cases in Tokyo has risen markedly in recent days, prompting Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and her counterparts in four neighboring prefectures to send out a joint message calling on residents in the metropolitan area to avoid going out and traveling as little as possible this weekend.

It is quite possible that the government will be forced........

© The Asahi Shimbun