Japan commits nearly $1 trillion for relief package amid COVID-19 pandemic

Japan has committed approximately $1 trillion in relief aid to protect its economy from the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that the Japanese government is allocating 108 trillion yen ($989 billion) relief package, which is a huge amount that is equal to nearly 20% of the country’s annual output. Japan is known to have the world’s third-biggest economy.

The budget allocation includes tens of billions of dollars in cash support to be provided for families and small business owners who have lost their incomes because of the new coronavirus. Additionally, the financial aid comes tax breaks and zero-interest loans.

Additional information about its breakdown will be given at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Japan is the latest country to release a huge amount of government spending that is geared towards helping residents and businesses cope with the sudden shock to the global economy as countries go into lockdown.

The prime minister said that he would declare a state of emergency on Tuesday. This will last for about one month, which is a significant development, as Abe had declined to do so as recently as last week.

The governor of Tokyo has encourages the city’s 13.5 million residents to work-from-home where possible until April 12. However, many employees still go to work in their offices. According to the country’s 2019 data, nearly 80% of companies don’t have the ability to let their workers perform their duties remotely. Moreover, Japan’s work culture makes it hard to persuade people to stay home.

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