Japan Private Lenders to Offer Zero-Interest Small Biz Loans

Politics

Tokyo, April 3 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Friday to provide small firms facing funding problems amid the coronavirus pandemic with zero-interest unsecured loans through private financial institutions.

The decision was made at a meeting of the government's Council on Investments for the Future, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

At the meeting, Abe pledged to help small businesses obtain effectively interest-free unsecured loans through regional banks and other local lenders, such as shinkin banks and "shinyo kumiai" credit cooperatives, while allowing them to skip repayments of the loan principal for up to five years.

The government will include the measure in its emergency economic stimulus package, to be adopted as early as Tuesday.

Participants at the meeting called for a variety of support measures for small firms, expressing concerns over rapidly faltering business performances mainly at firms in the services sector.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press