Small Japan Firms Taking Hit from Coronavirus Outbreak

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 20 (Jiji Press)--The ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus from China is taking a toll on small companies in Japan partly through a decrease in the number of foreign visitors, a survey revealed on Thursday.

In the survey conducted by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier this month, 11.3 pct of some 2,000 responding small companies said the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting their businesses, while 52.4 pct said they may see adverse impacts if the outbreak continues for an extended period.

An official of a hotel in Sapporo, capital of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, told a COVID-19 consultation office at a local commerce chamber that as much as 70 pct of February reservations at the hotel have been canceled and that no reservation has come for March at present, according to the JCCI.

A Tokyo travel agency whose customers include a number of French people has also been hit by a flurry of cancellations.

Small companies are "suffering heavy damage because not only Japanese citizens, but also people in Europe and the United States are starting to refrain from travel," JCCI executive Toru Ishida said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press