Govt OK’s record draft budget of ¥114.3 trillion

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo

The government approved Friday a record draft budget of ¥114.3 trillion for fiscal 2023, up ¥6.7 trillion from the fiscal 2022 initial budget, rewriting the record for the 11th consecutive year.

To increase defense spending for drastic reinforcement of the nation’s defense capabilities, the government has decided on an unprecedented budget increase that exceeds the increase of ¥5.4 trillion seen in fiscal 2009 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Defense spending is to swell by ¥1.4 trillion to a record ¥6.8 trillion. To cover future increases, a “defense reinforcement fund” is to be created to stockpile gains from the sale of government properties, with ¥3.4 trillion expected to be transferred for fiscal 2023.

Social security spending, which accounts for one-third of total expenditures, has been on an unstoppable increase, and the budget for that purpose will balloon from ¥36.2 trillion in the initial fiscal 2022 budget to a new record figure even higher in the ¥36 trillion range.

The reserve budget to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, high prices and the situation in Ukraine is ¥5 trillion, the same as in the fiscal 2022 budget.

Revenue is expected to be ¥69.4 trillion, an increase of ¥4.2 trillion from fiscal 2022, which saw the largest-ever tax revenues. The amount of new government bonds — national debts — issued will be in the ¥35 trillion range, meaning one-third of the nation’s expenditures will be financed by debts.