Parliament on Thursday enacted a ¥112.57 trillion ($744 billion) budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, the second-largest, to better respond to security threats and demographic challenges, ease the pain of inflation and rebuild earthquake-hit areas.

The budget includes a record ¥7.95 trillion in defense spending as the nation seeks to bolster defense capabilities in the face of threats from China and North Korea. The government revised its initial plan and doubled the amount of emergency funds to ¥1 trillion after a deadly quake hit central Japan on New Year's Day.

Although the government has been seeking to trim its spending to pre-pandemic levels after it swelled in recent years to cope with COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crisis, it faces high hurdles because it has already decided to sharply increase spending on defense and child-related policies in the coming years.