Tokyo, April 19 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government will allow local governments to use economic revitalization grants to give financial support to businesses that meet government requests to close operations amid the coronavirus epidemic, Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said Sunday.
The extraordinary grants will to be created to help finance projects that local governments implement to prevent a further spread of coronavirus infections in line with the local situations. The government has set aside one trillion yen for the subsidies under a fiscal 2020 supplementary budget.
Nishimura told reporters that he has agreed with Seigo Kitamura, minister for regional revitalization, to allow the grants to be used for various forms of financial support to businesses.
The government plans to fix the amounts of subsidies to be distributed to each local government by looking at the number of infection cases and local medical systems, Nishimura said.
After the central government declared a state of emergency, the Tokyo metropolitan government announced plans to use its own funds to pay up to one million yen each to businesses that comply with its request for closures.
Other local governments have introduced or are considering similar aid programs. But as they are not as financially sound as the Tokyo government, the National Governors’ Association has asked the central government to allow the use of the extraordinary grants for such financial aid.