Japan to Spend $49B on Quake Relief

Facing a long and expensive clean-up effort, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed an extra budget of $49 billion on Thursday to start rebuilding areas hit by last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami—and there could be more where that came from. Kan said several more extra cash infusions could be necessary. “Increasing taxes looks unavoidable,” said a Tokyo economist on the potential repercussions. The spending will be used to house more 100,000 people displaced by the disaster, as well as rebuild infrastructure. The death toll so far has topped 14,000.