Japan enacts record-high FY 2017 budget

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Tokyo | Published: March 27, 2017 7:26:55 PM

Japan's parliament on Monday enacted a record-high 97 trillion yen ($884 billion) budget for the fiscal 2017.

Japan?s House of Councillors, dominated by Abe?s ruling coalition, cleared the budget a month after the House of Representatives passed it. (Reuters)

Japan’s parliament on Monday enacted a record-high 97 trillion yen ($884 billion) budget for the fiscal 2017. The enactment of the budget came amid heated discussions in parliament over a cut-price land deal scandal that implicates Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie, Xinhua news agency reported. Japan’s House of Councillors, dominated by Abe’s ruling coalition, cleared the budget a month after the House of Representatives passed it.

According to the budget, the fiscal year starting from April 2017 will see a record-high 73.93 trillion yen earmarked for policy spending in the general account of the Japanese government. Among the major outlays, spending on social security will rise to some 32.47 trillion yen, accounting for a third of the total budget as the Japanese society continues ageing.

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Defence spending will hit a record-high of 5.13 trillion yen, rising for the fifth straight year since Abe took office in 2012, causing concerns for Japan’s neighbouring countries. Debt serving expenses, including payment for interests, are to reach 23.5 trillion yen, accounting for 24.1 per cent of the total budget.

The government also expects to reduce its dependence on debt, though very slightly, to 35.3 per cent from the 35.6 per cent in the fiscal 2016 initial budget, with issuance of new bonds expected to fall to 34.37 trillion yen in fiscal 2017.

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