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Gov't drawing up second, 3-trillion-yen supplementary budget

TOKYO -- The government is drawing up a second, 3-trillion-yen supplementary budget draft for fiscal 2018 to fund infrastructure projects and strengthen Japan's agricultural sector.

The government plans to allocate over 1 trillion yen to improve infrastructure to withstand or prevent disasters. It also plans to allocate over 300 billion yen to develop the agricultural sector in preparation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact's entry into force. The supplementary budget draft will be approved in a Cabinet meeting in late December along with the fiscal 2019 budget draft, and submitted to the Diet in January.

To strengthen preparations for natural disasters, the government plans to spend over three trillion yen over the three years from fiscal 2018 to 2020 to improve important infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, and power plants.

In preparation for the 11-nation TPP, the budget aims to help domestic farmers to strengthen their competitiveness, and incorporates a subsidy for medium and small businesses. The cost of combating the disease rubella, which has seen a spike in new cases mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area, is also included in the budget.

Public project expenses such as infrastructure development will be paid for with additional issues of government construction bonds. The government will also tap an increase in fiscal 2018 tax revenues and a surplus in interest payments on government bonds.

(Japanese original by Wataru Okubo, Business News Department)

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