RIEKO MIKI, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — Members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and health ministry staff who have responded to the coronavirus outbreak will receive a special daily bonus of up to 4,000 yen ($38).
Those eligible include public servants who worked aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined at Yokohama with thousands of passengers and crew on board, and at lodging facilities for Japanese citizens who were brought back from the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Japan plans to have two tiers for the allowance and aims to begin payments in April. SDF personnel and government employees who were in direct contact with potentially infected people through activities such as quarantines and transport will receive 4,000 yen. Others who handled work such as distribution of goods and food preparation will receive 3,000 yen.
In the past, public employees who handled quarantine work received daily allowances of 290 yen. The government increased the bonus by more than 10 times the usual amount because of the high risk in dealing with the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
SDF personnel will see an increase from the current maximum daily allowance of 3,240 yen for disaster-response missions.
Several hundred government employees worked on board the Diamond Princess and at a university in Saitama Prefecture that housed those returning from China. Meanwhile, roughly 2,700 SDF personnel were dispatched to handle tasks related to the cruise ship.