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TOKYO: Japan’s record $1 trillion budget for the upcoming fiscal year was approved by parliament on Friday, raising speculation of still more spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 106.6 trillion yen ($975.83 billion) budget for the year beginning April 1 features 5 trillion yen in emergency spending related to the pandemic. That follows three COVID-19 packages worth a combined $3 trillion already rolled out in the current fiscal year.

The world’s third-largest economy stands on the cusp of a slump in the current quarter due to a second coronavirus-related state of emergency that was imposed from early January through last week for Tokyo and some other areas. The economy last contracted in the April-June quarter last year.

Some analysts anticipate more spending will be announced as politicians pile pressure to keep the fiscal spigot wide open, while government borrowing costs are kept low due to money printing from the central bank.

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