FOCUS: Japan's Fiscal Condition Worsens Further amid COVID-19 Crisis

Politics Economy

Tokyo, June 12 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s already dire fiscal condition is worsening further, due to the government’s plans for massive spending on measures to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic.

In fiscal 2020, which started in April, the government’s general-account spending is slated to total 160.3 trillion yen after the enactment of its first and second supplementary budgets for spending of 25.7 trillion yen and 31.9 trillion yen, respectively, on top of the initial budget spending of 102.7 trillion yen.

Japan’s deficit in the primary budget balance had been narrowing in recent years, but the deficit for fiscal 2020 swelled to 66.1 trillion yen after the two additional budgets were compiled, compared with 9.2 trillion yen from the initial budget only.

Japan maintains a goal of achieving a primary balance surplus in fiscal 2025. But a senior Finance Ministry official said, “Realistically speaking, it’s almost impossible.”

Amid the coronavirus crisis, the government faces little opposition to aggressive fiscal spending, although there are concerns that the government is complacent about fiscal consolidation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press