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Japan looks to whittle $926bn budget request

Social insurance, public works among targets for fierce funding fight

TOKYO -- Japan faces a budgetary tug of war as it seeks to cut down spending requests totaling 101 trillion yen ($926 billion) for fiscal 2018 amid rising social security costs and growing demand for fiscal stimulus.

The combined requests surpassed 100 trillion yen for a fourth consecutive year. Ministries submitted the requests in advance of the Thursday deadline, and the Finance Ministry will start the trimming-down process in earnest in September. The goal is to cut the total down to about 98 trillion yen for the fiscal year that starts in April.

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