The Content of the General Account in Japan
The Category of Budget
The general account budget is the representative account of central government. Most national tax revenue, which is general taxes, comes into the general account. Proceeds from newly issued national government bonds also go into the general account. The main expenditure for policies of the central government is supposed to be reported in the general account. However, the amount of the general account budget is less than the (net) total amount of the special account budgets. Moreover, approximately half of expenditure in the general account is transferred into special accounts.
Special accounts are established by law in order to separate the costs of specific projects and specific revenue sources from the general account. Special accounts cover some public works, public pensions, fiscal transfers to local governments, and repayments of government debt. In some special accounts, designated national taxes can be collected directly. In addition, when the government initiates special items or manages special funds, special accounts are used. Such accounts are useful for clarifying their content and making administration efficient.