TOKYO: Japan’s health ministry is poised to make a record budget request of 32,989.5 billion yen for fiscal 2021, including spending on measures to fight the novel coronavirus, Jiji Press learned Thursday.
The amount represents an increase of 3.4 billion yen from the initial budget for the previous year, which ended in March.
The ministry hopes to earmark funds to increase assistance and supplies for medical and welfare service facilities and help them introduce information and communications technology equipment, informed sources said.
Also planned is spending to improve the coronavirus testing regime, support the development of COVID-19 drugs and vaccines and secure such supplies for the country’s population.
The ministry aims to boost subsidies for couples taking infertility treatment, a policy area Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga puts emphasis on.
All these will be included in the budget request, but the ministry will not specify how much funds it seeks. The spending amounts for these measures will be determined during the budget compilation process later this year.
The budget request is expected to include 12,461.5 billion yen for pension system management, 173.4 billion yen for measures to prevent child abuse, 106.4 billion yen for work style reforms for medical workers and 120.6 billion yen to support job changes across different industries and regions.