Diet Starts Ordinary Session; Govt Seeks Record Budget

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 18 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, started a 150-day ordinary session on Monday, with the government submitting a fiscal 2021 budget bill and a fiscal 2020 supplementary budget bill amid the lingering coronavirus pandemic.

The proposed budget for fiscal 2021, which starts in April, totals 106,609.7 billion yen, expanding 3.8 pct from the fiscal 2020 initial budget and hitting a record high for the ninth consecutive year.

The budget growth reflects costs for measures to deal with the pandemic, as well as higher social security and defense expenditures.

Regarding the fiscal 2021 initial budget and the fiscal 2020 extra budget, totaling 15,427.1 billion yen, as a combined "15-month budget," the government aims to take measures to shore up the pandemic-hit domestic economy in a seamless way.

Speaking to reporters at the prime minister's office on Monday morning, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga referred to his policy priorities including combatting the pandemic and promoting digitalization efforts. "We hope to gain public support for our budget and legislation proposals to realize these policies," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press