JAPAN ENACTS 19 TRIL. YEN EXTRA BUDGET TO FIGHT VIRUS

Japan's parliament enacted Thursday a third extra budget for fiscal 2020 totaling 19.18 trillion yen ($185 billion) to ramp up measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, despite criticism of the government over how the money will be used.

The supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending March cleared the House of Councillors after passing the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Opposition lawmakers had demanded that non-urgent spending, such as for the government's controversial "Go To Travel" subsidy program, should be redirected to provide financial aid to medical workers and people in need, but the ruling parties opposed revising the package.

The extra budget contains 15.43 trillion yen in newly allocated funds, with the rest carried over from previously approved budgets for the current fiscal year.

Japan has been facing a third wave of novel coronavirus infections since mid-November that forced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a second state of emergency covering Tokyo and 10 other prefectures earlier this month.

 

Source: Kyodo News