TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government is likely to forgo submitting an extra budget to the current parliament session running until June 16, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.
Some lawmakers have called for an extra budget to fund spending to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as state of emergency curbs to prevent the spread of the virus heighten the risk of another recession.
But the government judged there was not enough time to pass a budget through parliament with less than a month before it closes, the newspaper said, citing several government and ruling coalition lawmakers.
Finance Minister Taro Aso dismissed the need for additional spending now.
“I don’t think we need to compile a supplementary budget immediately to respond,” Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Extending the parliament session was considered difficult with a Tokyo metropolitan election looming on July 4 and the Tokyo Olympic Games from July 23, the newspaper said.
For now, the government will tap a 5 trillion yen ($46 billion) pool of funds already set aside to fund emergency spending to combat the pandemic, the Yomiuri reported.
Some of the money has already been spent but there is still 4 trillion yen left, which should last for about half a year unless there is an “explosive” spike in infections, the Yomiuri cited a government official as saying.
The newspaper did not disclose the identity of the sources.
($1 = 108.8400 yen)