Budgetary requests trimmed to ¥98 trillion

Kyodo

Budget requests by government offices for fiscal 2013 in general-account spending totaled ¥97.88 trillion, a reduction of ¥120.9 billion from those compiled under the previous administration, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

The requests were resubmitted by the offices following the launch Dec. 26 of the new government, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, and before the Cabinet maps out and approves a draft initial budget for fiscal 2013, which starts in April.

One reason behind the decline in the requests is that some of the planned expenses had been earmarked in a ¥13.1 trillion extra budget for fiscal 2012, the second-biggest of its kind, endorsed Tuesday to fund a large-scale economic stimulus package, government officials said.

With the two budgets covering financing needs for a total of 15 months, the LDP, which returned to power after three years in opposition following the Dec. 16 election, will aim to perk up the world’s third-biggest economy, which has been beset by chronic deflation and the strong yen.

The Defense Ministry called for an increase of its budget to boost the hardware and manpower of the Self-Defense Forces, but other offices cut or maintained the budget requests they submitted last September to the then-Democratic Party of Japan government.

The offices recalculated their budgets in order to allocate more money for measures to construct quake-resistant infrastructure and support Japanese companies, key goals of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.