[TOKYO] Japan's government will set aside roughly 4 trillion yen (S$43.7 billion) in next fiscal year's state budget to fund measures to boost the economy's productivity, the daily Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.
The move will be part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strategy of lifting Japan's long-term growth potential and reflating the economy, so that an expected increase in tax revenues will help rein in the country's massive public debt.
The money set aside will be spent on development of robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as on measures to boost service-sector productivity and female labour participation, the Asahi reported without citing sources.
The plan will be part of an outline on the budget for the year beginning in April 2016, which the Ministry of Finance will draft for approval by Abe's cabinet by the end of this month.
Based on the outline, the MOF will gather spending requests from government ministries by the end of August.
The government will not set a ceiling for total expenditure, reflecting Mr Abe's stance of prioritising improving growth over reining in fiscal spending.