Japan's lower house passes annual budget

Japan's lower house on Tuesday passed a $945 billion annual budget aimed at boosting the world's third largest economy, ensuring its enactment by mid-May, parliament officials said.

The chamber approved the 92.61 trillion yen ($945 billion) budget bill for the fiscal year to March 2014, supported by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition, the officials said.

The budget was immediately sent to the upper house but will be enacted by May 15 as the constitution states that budget bills should be put into effect 30 days after a decision by the powerful lower house.

In late February, the Japanese parliament also passed a 13.1 trillion yen extra budget that forms a key part of Abe's efforts to tackle the deflation that has dogged the economy for years.