Japan's Cabinet approved a record 96. 34 trillion yen (about 814 billion U.S. dollars) government budget for fiscal 2015 beginning in April to accommodate rising spending for social security and defense, local media reported Wednesday.
The budget draft, the third since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power, marks a rise from this fiscal year's initial 95.88 trillion yen, said Kyodo News Agency.
Rising revenues following the sales tax increase last April enabled Abe to raise spending without increasing the proportion financed by new government bonds, though the total national debt is still about twice the annual gross domestic product, the highest level in major industrialized countries.
According to the budget draft, Japan's policy spending will reach a record-high 72.89 trillion yen, up 2.79 trillion yen from the fiscal 2014 original budget, suggesting Abe's administration has failed to streamline expenditures, mainly those for social security programs.