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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 26 - March 3  > JCP Fujino calls for revising 2020 draft budget to increase spending to contain COVID-19 outbreak
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2020 February 26 - March 3 [POLITICS]

JCP Fujino calls for revising 2020 draft budget to increase spending to contain COVID-19 outbreak

February 27, 2020
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Fujino Yasufumi on February 26 in a Diet meeting discussing the 2020 draft budget demanded that the government allocate more funds for measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

At the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Fujino referred to the government’s basic policy on countermeasures against COVID-19 which was published on the previous day. Under the basic policy, along with designated medical institutions for infectious diseases, ordinary hospitals will also accept people suspected of being infected with the virus if the situation requires it.

Fujino pointed out that the government needs to provide enough financial support to these hospitals to help them implement essential measures, such as securing extra rooms and beds to isolate people with COVID-19 as well as providing masks, goggles, and other protective gear.

Fujino also said that in order for early detection of COVID-19, the government should improve the diagnostic detection system by boosting the supply of testing equipment and diagnostic medicines and by mobilizing universities and private institutions.

In response, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo insisted that as the government will use 15.3 billion yen in total to fight COVID-19, including 10.3 billion yen from the reserved fund in the 2019 budget, the government has a large enough budget to carry out necessary countermeasures. Fujino stressed that it is too small compared to the size of required measures and urged the government to spend much more for this effort.

On the same day, Diet affairs chiefs of the JCP, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and Democratic Party for the People agreed that the parties will jointly propose a revision to the 2020 draft budget as it does not include spending on anti-coronavirus measures. They also confirmed that without necessary amendments, the draft budget must not be put to the vote.
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