TOKYO (Reuters) – Annual budget requests from Japan’s government offices have topped 100 trillion yen ($963.76 billion) for a third straight fiscal year, part of it for stimulus spending to revive flagging growth, a draft obtained by Reuters showed.
The requests, to be announced later on Tuesday, totaled 101.4707 trillion yen for fiscal 2017, compared with a record 102.4099 trillion yen requested for the current fiscal year’s initial budget.
The relatively high spending underscores a challenge for Japan as it tries to balance growth priorities with the need to rein in a heavy debt burden.
The spending requests got a boost from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-growth fiscal policy, backed by rock-bottom borrowing costs under the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.
The finance ministry will scrutinize the budget requests and trim them before it drafts an annual budget in December. This fiscal year’s initial budget hit a record 96.7 trillion yen.
Japan must rein in the industrial world’s heaviest debt burden at more than twice the size of its economy, while facing the need to revive the stalling economy.
($1 = 103.7600 yen)
(Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)