Japan Governors Seek More State Grants over Coronavirus

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prefectural governors compiled a set of proposals to the central government on Thursday, including an increase in special grants for helping local communities ease the impacts of the novel coronavirus epidemic.

At the day's online meeting, the National Governors' Association said that the country's 47 prefectures saw shortfalls totaling an estimated 613.4 billion yen in the aid as of Oct. 1.

"We'll firmly propose to the state measures such as those for preventing the spread of the coronavirus and supporting medical institutions," Kamon Iizumi, head of the association and governor of the western prefecture of Tokushima, told a press conference after the meeting.

According to the association's survey on the coronavirus grants, the 47 prefectures need a total of 1,843.8 billion yen, including the amounts already spent, for financing small business support and other relief measures. But the total amount provided by the central government stood at 1,230.4 billion yen. All prefectures saw shortfalls, the survey showed. The total estimated shortfalls increased from 500.5 billion yen as of August.

At the videoconference, many governors called for increases in the grants. Shingo Mimura, governor of the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, said: "We are using the grants for job security and other measures. As the local economy is increasingly severe amid prolonged impacts of the virus crisis, however, the amount of the aid is not enough."

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