The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided Friday to spend an additional 385.62 billion yen ($3.7 billion) in reserve funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic, using most of the sum to extend a controversial travel subsidy program.

The government will extend the "Go To Travel" campaign for another five months beyond its original end date in late January in order to support the virus-hit tourism industry and underpin Japan's economy. But some experts have blamed the program for the recent sharp rise in the number of domestic infections.

People wearing face masks walk in Osaka on Dec. 10, 2020. Osaka Prefecture reported 415 new coronavirus cases the same day. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The emergency spending includes 311.93 billion yen to extend the program, which was launched in July and offers discounts to encourage people to travel within the country.

The government also earmarked 73.69 billion yen to give additional aid to low-income single parents.

The government has set aside a total of 11.5 trillion yen in reserve funds under its two extra budgets for fiscal 2020 through next March to address economic fallouts from the pandemic. After Friday's decision, 6.89 trillion yen remains in the funds.

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