Due to the prolonged economic slump, the government failed in fiscal 2002 for the second straight year to meet a tax revenue target, but luckily it managed to secure an overall surplus because part of the budget was left unspent.

Tax revenues for the year that ended March 31 came to 43.82 trillion yen, or 452.87 billion yen under the latest projection — which already reflected a 2.5 trillion yen downward revision from the initial estimate — and the lowest since 1986, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The fall mainly comes from fewer corporate tax revenues, after the Tokyo stock plunge in March forced many companies to report appraisal losses.

Overall revenues, including nontax revenues, for the year came to a 524.2 billion yen deficit. Of the nontax revenues, transferred profits from the Bank of Japan declined because the BOJ boosted its own capital.

On the other hand, total expenditures left a 901.6 billion yen surplus mainly due to sharp falls in long-term interest rates, which reduced interest payments for outstanding government bonds.

As a result, the government eked out a 377.3 billion yen surplus, a reversal from a 560 million yen deficit the previous year.

More than half of the surplus is earmarked to be spent in the next two years for redeeming government bonds and loans, the ministry said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.