130 B. Yen Left Over from Japan Defense Budget in FY 2023

130 B. Yen Left Over from Japan Defense Budget in FY 2023

   Tokyo, July 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan is believed to have left unused about 130 billion yen that it had earmarked for defense spending in fiscal 2023, which ended last March, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said Wednesday.
   The leftover funds show that there may be room for cuts in defense spending, casting doubt on the government's plan to raise taxes to finance a boost in the country's defense capabilities.
   Hayashi told a press conference that the leftovers were caused by lower-than-expected contracting and labor costs.
   He said there were no issues in the government's assessment of budget requests, pointing out that the ratio of leftover funds to the whole budget is not necessarily larger in fiscal 2023 than in the past.
   "Drastically strengthening defense capabilities is an urgent task to protect the lives and peaceful livelihoods of citizens," Hayashi said. He stressed the need to raise taxes, arguing that it is "important to secure a stable source of funding."

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