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Japan’s defence spending could get a boost from NTT sale

A heavyweight politician of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said on Sunday the government is open to selling its stake in telecommunications company NTT to help fund the country’s defence spending, according to public broadcaster NHK.

“Selling NTT shares over the course of decades would mean we could secure a stable source of funding,” LDP heavyweight Akira Amari said on a Fuji TV television programme, NHK said.

NTT was privatised in 1985, but the government still owns a one-third stake in the former telecoms monopoly.

Amari is leading an LDP team looking into ways to fund a hike in Japan’s defence spending without raising taxes. The team is expected to start considering the sale of the NTT stakes, according to the NHK report.

On Tuesday this past week, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki declined to comment when asked about LDP plans to sell NTT shares to raise funds for Japan’s defence buildup. Nasdaq

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