Japan’s lower house to pass controversial third extra budget for 2021
The lower house of parliament of Japan is anticipated to pass on Tuesday the proposed third extra budget for this year. This is despite criticisms that the extra budget is focused on government tourism instead of prioritizing the health sector trying to contain the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The 19-trillion-yen ($183 billion) extra budget was drafted before Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced a state of emergency in January to contain a resurgence in the virus.
The budget proposal included allocating 60% for the government’s ‘green’ and digitalized economy campaign and domestic travel until June, 16% for infrastructure spending, and 24% for preparation of vaccine roll-outs and aid to medical institutions under strain from the rising number of patients.
The passing of this year’s third extra budget will add to the country’s already huge public debt which is now double the size of its 5 trillion economy, making it the largest debt among the world’s major economies.