Japan's government has decided to tap into its discretionary reserve funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Officials plan to spend more than 1.4 trillion yen, or nearly 13 billion dollars, on additional efforts.
The Cabinet made the decision on Friday. Nearly 8 billion dollars will be allocated to purchase additional vaccines from foreign pharmaceutical makers.
And more than 2 billion dollars will be spent to secure virus-neutralizing antibody drugs.
This means about 23 billion dollars will remain in the government's reserve funds.
Meanwhile, Japan's finance minister dismissed calls among opposition parties for a supplementary budget to fight COVID.
Aso Taro said, "I don't think we will run short of funds anytime soon. I also don't think there is an immediate need to form a supplementary budget."
The government is in talks with US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer to receive 120 million more doses of its coronavirus vaccine from the beginning of the next year.