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HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Japan
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Japan eyes record budget to boost welfare spending

But the retirement age may soon be raised.

Japan's Finance Minister revealed that Japan will likely unveil a record budget in FY2019, driven by higher welfare and defense spending.

Japan's been working to keep rationalise welfare spending, but the country's rapidly ageing population puts constant upward pressure on healthcare expenditure.

The country's public debt amounts to 236% of its gross domestic product, one of the highest in the developed world. In response, the government has been trimming spending on its ever-growing elderly population.

In fact, the Ministry of Finance is lobbying to raise the age when pension benefits start to 68, up from 65 at present. The age was previously set at 60 until 2000 the age was 60.

Elderly care and medical care contributions already have been cut.

There is no guarantee that the budget request will be granted, since it is possible for the Finance Ministry to cut the final size of next fiscal year's budget to below initial requests.
 

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