Since the days of the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, financial reconstruction through reform of revenue generation and spending has been the core government policy. But the basic budget guidelines adopted by Prime Minister Taro Aso’s administration represent a virtual scrapping of that policy line.

Symbolic is the decision to drop the policy of curbing automatic growth in social security spending by ¥220 billion a year. The guidelines say the government will carry out “necessary restoration” of social security in order to build a society in which people feel secure about their lives. Thus, automatic growth will be accepted in the fiscal 2010 budget.

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