Over 20% of Japan firms in HK seek financial assistance against virus outbreak

25, Mar. 2020

Photo by Chastagner Thierry on Unsplash
Photo by Chastagner Thierry on Unsplash

HONG KONG, NNA - More than a fifth of Japanese companies in Hong Kong are seeking financial assistance from the Hong Kong government amid the economic fallout from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Hong Kong Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry has reported that 21.5 percent of 242 member companies in the Chinese territory have called for extended subsidies or loans from the local authorities.

The business group conducted a survey of its 544 member companies there from March 10 to 15, and 242 of them responded. The survey follows the Japanese government’s border control measures taken for visitors from China, including Hong Kong and Macao, and South Korea.

Of those respondents, 9.9 percent seek financial support for rent of their offices in Hong Kong, while 6.6 percent want the speedy implementation of the 30 billion Hong Kong dollar ($3.87 billion) epidemic prevention fund set by the local government to bail out businesses disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Seeking resumption of classes or assistance in education following the closure of schools since late January was requested by 15.7 percent of the respondents. Thorough disclosure of information about the epidemic drew the interest of 19.4 percent of them.

Meanwhile, 81.8 percent of the 242 respondents are seeing an impact from the Japanese government’s strict border control action. The requirement for visitors to Japan to stay at home for 14 days before going out is the most significant impact for 81.4 percent of those affected by the border controls.

This is followed by the limitation on international airports used for flights from China and South Korea to two, Narita and Kansai, at 7.9 percent. A halt in Japan’s visa waiver arrangement for Hong Kong and Macau locals as well as South Koreans also had a major impact for 5.4 percent of the respondents.