Japan approves $1.16-trillion draft budget
Japan's cabinet approved Saturday a 90.334 trillion yen ($1.16 trillion) budget for the 2012 fiscal year, with a record 49 percent financed by bonds even as the country struggles to reina in its massive public debt.
Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Japan had reached its "limit" in relying on debt and said he was aware the global community was watching him in light of the serious debt woes in Europe.
Under the draft budget, to be submitted to parliament next year, the government would issue fresh bonds worth 44.2 trillion yen in the year from April, aggravating Japan's public debt, which at nearly double its GDP is the worst among industrialised nations.
The proposed budget is technically 2.2 percent smaller than the original budget for the ongoing year to March.
But local media said the budget in reality is the largest ever, worth more than 96 trillion yen, when key items accounted for in separate budgetary steps are included, such as money needed to rebuild the tsunami-hit northeast.