Govt. plans to use 30-trillion yen in private funds for public projects

Japan's government has decided to use 30-trillion yen, or about 231 billion dollars, in private funds for infrastructure and other public projects over the next 10 years.

The government made the decision on the Private Finance Initiative, or PFI, and others in a meeting of Cabinet ministers on Friday.

The PFI taps into private sector funds to finance public projects including building, maintaining and operating public facilities. It is aimed at reducing costs for the state and municipalities while providing high-quality public services.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said PFI is an important method that will be a pillar of cooperation between the public and private sectors to realize a "new form of capitalism," which he advocates.

He said he aims to create business opportunities and markets for private sector growth and wealth distribution.

Kishida said the first five years will be for intensive implementation of the scheme, and that he plans to expand the use of PFI to build stadiums and facilities for cultural and social education.