January 29, 2013 - 10:25 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The government plans to allocate a total of 92.61 trillion yen ($1.26 trillion) for general account expenditures in fiscal 2013, down from 92.92 trillion yen in the initial fiscal 2012 budget, according to government sources, AsiaOne reported.
Defense expenditures for fiscal 2013 will be set at 4.75 trillion yen, up 40 billion yen from the initial fiscal 2012 budget, the sources said.
The government will finalize the state budget for next fiscal year at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Jan 29, the sources said.
The 92.61 trillion yen figure was worked out through consultations Sunday between Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and other Cabinet ministers, the sources said.
The budget was compiled under the premise of cutting local government personnel costs from July by 900 billion yen by the end of fiscal 2013, according to the sources.
Local tax grants will be slashed by 400 billion yen from the initial fiscal 2012 budget to 17.1 trillion yen, they said. The decrease will be the first in six years.
The government also placed high priority on strengthening defence in waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, amid rising tensions with China, which claims sovereignty over the islets.
Self-Defense Forces personnel will be expanded by 287, the first increase in manpower exceeding 200 in 20 years, the sources said. Additionally, the Japan Coast Guard will receive the full 176.5 billion yen it requested for fiscal 2013, they said.
Funds earmarked for purchasing 20 JCG patrol boats and 13 aircraft to defend territorial waters and airspace will balloon to 36.4 billion yen, 40 per cent more than the fiscal 2012 budget.
Expenses for livelihood protection benefits for people on welfare, a main point of debate during the budget compilation, will be trimmed by 74 billion yen over a period of three years starting from this August, the sources said.
Similar to the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget, about 1 trillion yen will also be set aside for antidisaster and safety-enhancement subsidies aimed at accelerating repairs and projects to boost earthquake resistance of roads, bridges and embankments.
Another 718.6 billion yen will be allocated for a subsidy program to supplement the income of individual farming households, one of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration's central policy platforms. The compensation program will be renamed the "farming income stabilization package," according to the sources.