730 M. Yen of COVID-19 Relief Handled Improperly in Japan

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--At least 730 million yen of the money provided to Japanese local governments as relief from the novel coronavirus crisis was not handled properly, the Board of Audit of Japan said Monday.

The board checked how, in fiscal 2020, 965 municipalities in 24 of the country's 47 prefectures used the money that the state paid as special regional revitalization grants in order to help local governments take COVID-19 relief measures for businesses and households.

The 730 million yen included 547 million yen in credit guarantee subsidies improperly kept at 82 municipalities in three prefectures where the amounts of the special grants had been fixed as of the end of May this year.

The municipalities used the special grants to pay the subsidies for lowering the costs of credit guarantees that struggling small businesses obtained when taking out relief loans from financial institutions.

Some of the subsidies were returned to the municipalities after the portion became unnecessary because borrowers paid back their loans earlier than scheduled, the board said, adding that much of the returned money improperly stayed at the municipalities.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press