The request for next fiscal year’s budget was announced by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday. The unprecedented 99.3 trillion yen ($995 billion) budget request of the government offices will be mostly spent on social welfare and debt-servicing costs for the next fiscal year. It will also include funds for Fukushima clean-up, as the government imposed upon itself to take charge over TEPCO’s inept management.
“We will need to thoroughly examine these requests and prioritize our spending,” said Vice Finance Minister Shunichi Yamaguchi. Included in the government’s priorities is Fukushima with its requested budget of at least $472 million (47 billion yen) for the defunct nuclear facility, to be used in containing the radioactive waters from the power plant. Japan’s Labour Ministry also requested for about $308 billion allotment for the social services of the country, especially with the continuous greying population.
Yamaguchi mentioned the government’s commitment to lower the country’s primary budget deficit by 4 trillion yen for the next fiscal year. “If we go against our fiscal discipline framework, this could hurt confidence in Japanese government bonds,” he said. Japan is indebted with $10.46 trillion, which is double the size of the country’s GDP. For the next fiscal year, the Finance Ministry has requested for about $250 billion (25.3 trillion yen) to balance the country’s debts. Meanwhile, the requested budget of other ministries for industry growth development amount to about $35 billion (3.5 trillion yen).
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