September 25, 2017 / 12:31 PM / a year ago

Japan's Abe says can't hit budget-balance target but to continue reform

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged on Monday that the government will not be able to meet its budget-balancing target but said he would press on with curbing the nation’s exploding debt.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a news conference to announce snap election at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

“Achieving a primary budget balancing by fiscal 2020 has become impossible,” Abe told public broadcaster NHK after announcing a snap election for next month and vowing to divert money from a promised sales-tax hike, meant to repay government debt, to programs like education.

“But we are absolutely not lowering the flag of fiscal consolidation,” he said.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by William Mallard

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