TOKYO (AP) _ Japan's lower house of Parliament approved a new 2000 federal budget on Tuesday aimed at bolstering the nation's recovery from its worst economic slump in decades.

The record $772.6 billion budget for the fiscal year starting April 1 passed the powerful lower house by a vote of 346-133. The budget was up 3.8 percent from the budget for fiscal 1999.

The budget bill was sent to the upper house, where it was certain to win easy approval because the ruling coalition has a majority in the chamber.

Even without upper house approval, the budget would automatically be enacted in 30 days under laws giving the lower house the final say on budget legislation.

The government plans to help finance the budget by borrowing $296.5 billion. Japan is already one of the most indebted countries in the world.