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Japan's FY 2021 budget requests total record 105.41 tril. yen

This photo taken Aug. 30, 2019, shows Japan's Finance Ministry in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's government ministries and agencies have requested a record total of 105.41 trillion yen ($1 trillion) in the general account budget for fiscal 2021, topping 100 trillion yen for the seventh consecutive year, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

    The sum does not include spending plans to keep combating the coronavirus pandemic. Such expenses are expected to total a few trillion yen and will become clear by the end of this year, according to government officials.

    The latest figure suggests the upcoming budget would possibly outstrip the highest-ever sum of 102.66 trillion yen for fiscal 2020, and top 100 trillion yen for the third straight year.

    The budget for the year starting in April 2021 is set to be finalized in late December, the first under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's administration, and screened in parliament early next year.

    Such huge expenditure is expected to keep Japan further away from achieving fiscal soundness and with a public debt of over 1,100 trillion yen, amid the economic fallout from the pandemic which forced the Japanese economy to experience an annualized real 28.1 percent contraction in the April-June quarter.

    Among the requests, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Defense Ministry have submitted record requests of 32.99 trillion yen and 5.49 trillion yen, respectively. The Finance Ministry has estimated that 25.49 trillion yen will be needed for debt-servicing costs.

    This year's deadline for the requests was extended to Sept. 30 from the usual end of August date to lessen the workload of government officials amid the pandemic.

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