The Cabinet Office announced that the FY2020 science and technology-related draft budget will be 4 trillion 378.7 billion yen, an increase of 141 billion yen, or 3.3 %, from the FY2019 initial budget. It is the fourth consecutive annual increase under the current budget aggregation method.
Looking closely at the science and technology budget, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology represents about a half of the total increase and will receive 2 trillion 122.4 billion yen, marking a 65.2 billion yen decrease for the ministry. 688.9 billion yen is allocated to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and 368.1 billion yen to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
In its 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan, the government set a goal of allocating a total of 26 trillion yen for the science and technology-related budget in five years starting FY2016. However, achieving that goal is in question as the current total, excepting the FY2020 supplementary and local government budget, stands at 23.8 trillion yen.
The largest beneficiary of the FY2020 budget increase is MLIT, with a 76.1 billion yen-increase. In its 280 billion-budget, MLIT included 80 billion yen for promotion of new technologies in public projects such as drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) that are used for land survey. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications had the second largest increase, 74.9 billion yen. The ministry added an extra 68.4 billion yen for the national census scheduled in FY2020.
Meanwhile, in the FY2019 supplementary budget, 984.4 billion yen was allocated for science and technology, the largest amount since FY2012.
Some criticize that the definition of the science and technology budget is unclear, and the category sometimes includes public works-related and other technologies.