The Foreign Ministry will request an 11.9 percent year-on-year increase in its budget for official development assistance for fiscal 2006, ministry officials said Monday.

The request due this week to boost the ODA budget starting next April 1 will amount to 546.3 billion yen, including 20 billion yen for disaster-prevention measures and post-disaster reconstruction, and 7 billion yen to deal with terrorism and piracy, the officials said.

ODA has been cut for six straight years since fiscal 2000, due mainly to the protracted economic slump and complaints of blatant misspending.

The Foreign Ministry is requesting the sizable increase in line with the government’s policy of giving more help to African and other nonindustrialized economies.

Budgetary requests from ministries and agencies are due Wednesday.

Last year, the Foreign Ministry requested 576.6 billion yen, a 15.3 percent year-on-year boost. But the Finance Ministry eventually gave it 488.1 billion yen in the initial budget for fiscal 2005, down 2.4 percent from the previous year.

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.