Business

Upper House enacts extra budget worth ¥936 billion for disaster recovery

Kyodo

Lawmakers in the House of Councilors on Wednesday enacted an extra budget worth ¥935.6 billion ($8.3 billion) for fiscal 2018 to fund recovery efforts in the wake of a string of natural disasters across the country earlier this year.

The budget for the year through March next year is now set to be executed, having already been passed by the House of Representatives on Nov. 2.

Most of the total — ¥727.5 billion — will be used for disaster recovery, and the majority of it will be financed by new government debt.

Under the plan, ¥503.4 billion will be allocated for western Japan — centering on Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures, where more than 200 people were killed in landslides and floods caused by heavy rains in early July.

About ¥120 billion will be earmarked for Hokkaido, which was rocked by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in September.

Osaka and its surrounding areas — hit by a powerful quake in June and Typhoon Jebi in September, the strongest storm to strike the country in 25 years — will receive ¥105.3 billion.

In addition, ¥82.2 billion will be used to install air conditioners in public schools, as extremely high temperatures this year raised fears that students could suffer from heatstroke.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is also planning a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year to cover infrastructure repairs.