Nishimura Apologizes for Creating Confusion for Eateries

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura apologized Tuesday for creating confusion following his earlier idea to share information with banks on eateries defying requests not to serve alcohol.

The idea of sharing such information so that banks can encourage restaurants to comply with the requests, was suggested by Nishimura on Thursday, as a way of preventing novel coronavirus infections. However, after the minister received complaints from ruling and opposition parties that the idea could lead to abuse of power by financial institutions, he withdrew his related remark the next day, stressing that the government will not encourage banks to restrict lending to noncompliant businesses.

"My remark created confusion and caused anxiety to restaurants," Nishimura, who is in charge of the government's coronavirus response, told a press conference Tuesday. "I regret not fully explaining the purpose (of the idea)."

Nishimura explained that he had made prior adjustments on the idea with the Financial Services Agency, the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

He also said that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and related cabinet ministers had heard about this idea when deciding to put Tokyo under the state of emergency over the coronavirus.

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