Japan Draws Up 2nd Emergency Package of Coronavirus Measures

Politics Lifestyle Economy

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Tuesday compiled its second batch of emergency measures to cope with the new coronavirus outbreak that features some 1.6 trillion yen in financial measures through state-backed lenders, including a special loan program for small firms and microenterprises.

The package, adopted at a meeting of the government's headquarters in response to the viral outbreak, also includes the use of over 430 billion yen in government funds, including 270 billion yen fiscal 2019 reserve funds, for such steps as new subsidies related to emergency school closures.

"In addition to aiming for the early end of the outbreak, we must make utmost efforts by giving top priority to maintaining employment and business operations for the time being," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the meeting.

Some 500 billion yen is set to be earmarked for the special lending program, which will provide effectively interest-free loans to self-employed people and freelance workers, as well as small companies facing steep drops in sales. Meanwhile, all business owners will become eligible for employment adjustment subsidies.

For the tourism industry, the government will designate the period until the end of the outbreak as a "run-up period" for reversing the decline in business, supporting companies in adopting cashless payment systems and multilingual services, and making facilities barrier-free.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press