• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday instructed his Cabinet to compile an extra budget for fiscal 2015 to bolster welfare services and improve the competitiveness of the farm sector.

The supplementary budget for fiscal 2015 ending March 31 is likely to be worth more than ¥3 trillion, government sources said.

Instead of issuing more debt to finance the budget, the government will tap unspent funds from the fiscal 2014 budget and tax revenues for this year.

The Cabinet is expected to approve the draft budget in mid-December before submitting it to the Diet during the ordinary session scheduled to convene earlyon Jan. 4.

The budget will likely finance measures to build more nursing and child-care facilities and provide around ¥30,000 in benefits each to people with low pension payments.

Abe has said he will focus on reforming the social security program to make it easier for people to raise children or care for the elderly while working.

The budget will also likely fund projects aimed at improving the international competitiveness of Japan’s farmers to prepare for the ramifications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement recently reached by Japan and 11 other nations.