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Japan to compile 2nd extra budget for COVID-19 response

  • May 11, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 11:50 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 11 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government and ruling coalition plan to submit a second draft supplementary budget for fiscal 2020, featuring new economic measures related to the COVID-19 epidemic, during the ongoing session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, informed sources said Monday.

 

Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said that the fiscal expenditures should reach 5 trillion to 10 trillion yen.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to instruct his government in mid-May to draw up the budget, aiming to have it enacted by the end of the Diet session on June 17, the sources said.

 

According to a senior LDP member, the government is slated to approve the budget at a cabinet meeting on May 27 and submit it to the Diet on June 8.

 

The government is expected to set aside 3 trillion to 4 trillion as reserve funds under the budget, the senior member said.

 

“It is important to act with a sense of speed,” Abe said during a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, on Monday. “If measures are needed, I want to respond during this Diet session.”

 

Abe also indicated that he will decide on whether to compile the second extra budget as early as Thursday, when the government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the pandemic is expected to be partially lifted.

 

“We’re hoping to take measures as speedily as possible after discussing also with opposition parties,” Abe said at an LDP executive meeting later, referring to support for small businesses struggling with paying rent.

 

He also mentioned aid for students, expansion of employment adjustment subsidies and assistance to businesses, including large ones, to help them continue their operations. Regarding these, the government and ruling camp will hold discussions soon, Abe said.

 

The government and ruling bloc will consider adding more funds to a measure giving extraordinary grants to municipalities, for which one trillion yen was earmarked in the first supplementary budget for fiscal 2020.

 

The prime minister’s office is not willing to extend the ongoing Diet session, as it aims to focus on coronavirus measures.

 

Some in the ruling coalition, comprising the LDP and its junior partner, Komeito, are seeking an extension so that a third supplementary budget can be passed. LDP Diet affairs chief Hiroshi Moriyama told reporters on Monday, however, that he is “not thinking about extending the Diet session at all.”

 

 

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