Abe Vows to Extend Rent Relief without Hesitation


Tokyo, April 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday pledged to take steps "without hesitation" to help businesses struggling to pay rents amid the prolonged outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

"More measures would be needed if the coronavirus crisis is further prolonged," Abe said in a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

"In that case, we'll do what we should without hesitation," Abe said, indicating the government's readiness to help ease the burdens on tenants hit hard by the fallout of the pandemic.

Abe made the remarks in response to a question by Fumio Kishida, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The Budget Committee met for discussions on the government's draft supplementary budget for fiscal 2020.

Kishida proposed having the government shoulder fixed costs, including rents, for small businesses that borrow zero-interest loans from state-affiliated lenders. "The government will seriously take the outcome of the party's discussions," Abe replied.

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