18:25 GMT19 April 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The Japanese lower house on Tuesday approved the record annual budget of 106.61 trillion yen (about $1 trillion) for 2021 during a session that was broadcast online.

    According to the Kyodo news agency, Japan has been ballooning for nine years straight and this is the third year it surpasses the 100-trillion-yen threshold.

    The draft budget is then expected to be passed by the parliament's upper chamber and enter force at the beginning of the new fiscal year, on April 1.

    The country will boost its defense budget to the record 5.34 trillion yen (almost $50 billion), continuing the seventh-year increase in military spending. A large chunk of those funds is set to be spent on cyber and space security.

    Some 33.5 billion yen ($313.5 million) are planned to be spent on developing the country's missile technologies to defend its vessels from a possible enemy. The news agency ties this to the increased military activity of neighboring China.

    More than a third of the budget funds, the unprecedented 35.84 trillion yen ($335.4 billion), will go to meet the needs of Japan's aging population.

    Approximately 5 trillion yen ($46.7 million) will be allocated to a reserve fund in case of a health and economic emergency linked to the spread of infectious diseases. This fund's use will not require the parliament's permission.

    COVID-19, economy, budget, defence, Japan
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