Japan budget requests hit a record $1.02 trln for FY2014
Reuters -- Aug 30
Japan's government ministries will make budget requests totalling a record 99.2 trillion yen ($1.02 trillion) for the fiscal year from next April, sources familiar with the figures told Reuters, adding to its already strained public finances.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is struggling to balance the need for economic stimulus and the need to rein in the country's public debt, which is double the size of its GDP - the heaviest such burden among the industrialised nations.
The budget requests, which must all be submitted by Friday, compare with 92.6 trillion yen earmarked for this fiscal year.
The Ministry of Finance in recent years has typically trimmed the requested total by several trillion yen when it prepares its draft budget in December.
The process is complicated this year, however, as no ceiling has been set for the budget draft due to a pending sales tax increase, while Abe's government faces pressure for more spending to stimulate the economy.
Japan will set up a new amphibious military unit and deploy unarmed surveillance drones in its southwest, where it faces a row with China over disputed islands, according to drafts of the nation's latest defence plans seen on Wednesday. (Reuters )
A total of 198,108 cases of bullying were recognized at schools in Japan in fiscal 2012 that ended in March, up 2.8-fold from the previous year and the highest figure since the survey began in 1985, the education ministry said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Ending radioactive water leaks along with groundwater and ocean contamination at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan may take more than five years, according to a report by a government advisory body. (Bloomberg )
A 43-year-old woman and other six boys and girls aged 14 to 18 years have been arrested by police in the western Japanese prefecture of Hyogo in connection with the abuse of a 15-year-old junior high school student, local press reported on Tuesday. (Global Times )
On November 30, officers from the Shizuoka Prefectural Police arrested Hitomi Sugawara, a part-time music teacher at elementary schools in Tokyo, for appearing in an adult video (AV) uploaded to an overseas Internet site. (Tokyo Reporter )