Tokyo, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)–The total general-account budget requests from Japanese government agencies for fiscal 2018, which starts next April, are expected to top 100 trillion yen for the fourth straight year, it was learned Friday.
Defense spending is seen growing due to the heightening tensions over North Korea, while social security costs, including medical, elderly nursing care and child-rearing expenditures will rise due to the country’s aging population and low birth rate.
The government agencies are required to submit their requests to the Finance Ministry by Thursday. The budget compilation process will last until year-end.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will request a record 31,429.8 billion yen, up 2.4 pct from the fiscal 2017 initial budget. The growth reflects a natural increase of 630 billion yen in social security spending in line with the aging population.
The ministry’s request will also include costs to boost nursery capacities and implement projects aimed at realizing equal pay for equal work. Expenditures related to pension and medical services will stand at 29,497.2 billion yen.