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Abe identifies priorities for fiscal 2018 budget

KYODO

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to give budget priority to fostering human resources as the government proceeds with the process of drawing up the fiscal 2018 state budget.

Japan faces the difficult task of securing enough revenue to cover the rapidly aging nation’s ballooning social security expenses and to finance projects to foster economic growth.

At a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Friday, Abe said that while reviewing spending, the government hopes to compile a budget focused on human resource development.

The government plans to decide on budget compilation guidelines later this month before the ministries start submitting their requests for fiscal 2018, which begins April 1.

Abe now views stepped-up investment in human resource development as the key to economic growth.

As the drafting of the budget will go into full swing toward year-end, Abe called for further discussions on how to achieve his policy goals, including how to make day care and preschool education free.

Japan, whose fiscal health is the worst of the major economies, aims to achieve economic recovery and fiscal reconstruction at the same time.