Photo/Illutration Finance Ministry officials hold an online meeting with their counterparts from other ministries about departmental budget requests on Aug. 31. (Provided by the Finance Ministry)

With social security costs ballooning, budget requests from government ministries and agencies rung up to a whopping 111 trillion yen ($1 trillion) in total for fiscal 2022, the Finance Ministry said.

It is the largest amount ever requested, and the fourth consecutive year the figure has broken the previous record.

The deadline for submitting budget requests was Aug. 31.

The total amount will likely grow even larger, as some ministries did not list specific figures for planned programs, citing difficulties in gauging the extent of the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Social security costs accounted for one-third of government expenditures.

The health ministry requested a record 33.945 trillion yen for the next fiscal year, 807 billion yen more than its initial request made last year for fiscal 2021.

The ministry said the increase is due to an additional 660 billion yen in social security costs, as older baby boomers enter their mid-70s.

The ministry also mentioned the possibility of requesting more funds to assist medical centers and bolster COVID-19 testing and vaccine rollout programs, depending on the spread of the coronavirus.

Other ministries also asked for unspecified figures for programs aimed to help sectors affected by the public health crisis.

The transport ministry, for example, is working on relief to local transport and tourism industries hit hard by the pandemic.

The industry ministry is trying to address difficulties faced by small and midsize companies due to the pandemic.

The education ministry is seeking to provide aid to art and cultural organizations struggling to ride out the crisis.