Japan adopts 1 tril. yen level fresh package to fight coronavirus

11, Mar. 2020

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TOKYO, Kyodo - Japan on Tuesday adopted a fresh 1 trillion yen ($9.6 billion) level emergency package for businesses battered by the new coronavirus outbreak, featuring 500 billion yen in zero-interest loans for small and midsize companies short of cash due to sharp falls in sales.

The stimulus measures, which entail 430.8 billion yen in actual spending under the fiscal 2019 budget, also include providing 4,100 yen a day in subsidies for freelance workers who are forced to give up work to take care of their children amid school closures following the outbreak.

"We have to put a priority on efforts to maintain employment and enable businesses to continue their operations," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a government taskforce meeting.

The new measures came about a month after the government launched the first package featuring low-interest loans totaling 500 billion yen for small and medium-sized companies in the tourism and other virus-hit sectors. (Kyodo)