Japan PM Kishida promises wages will rise more than prices

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio promised to make sure wages are rising more than prices by the end of the year.

His comments came after the Japanese Diet on Thursday passed the second-biggest initial budget on record for expenditures in the coming fiscal year.

The budget amounts to more than 112 trillion yen or about 740 billion dollars. Speaking to reporters after its passage, Kishida said it includes a number of measures to tackle rising prices and push up wages.

He said: "Japan is still only half-way along the road to getting out of deflation. Whether we're able to grasp the opportunity to get out of this situation, or have to turn back, depends on our response from now on."

The prime minister then talked about the Japanese economy. He said strong wage increases and record-high capital investment are attracting major investment from abroad.

He also mentioned income tax cuts his administration is planning from June to add momentum.

Last week, the Bank of Japan ended negative interest rates when it raised borrowing rates for the first time in 17 years.

Kishida said the government and the central bank will keep coordinating closely.