Japan approves $490-billion package to weather Covid-19 fallout
Tokyo, Nov 19 (EFE).- The Japanese government Friday approved a stimulus package of a record 55.7 trillion yen ($490 billion) to weather the coronavirus impact on the economy.
The government led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gave the green light to the package to help sustain the recovery of the third-largest economy that suffered from the prolonged fallout of the health crisis by the Covid-19.
The measure includes 100,000 yen handouts in cash and vouchers to children aged 18 or younger in households with an annual income of less than 9.6 million yen.
The move that will cost around 2 trillion yen is to support the consumption and education spending.
The package also includes funds to resume the government’s “Go To Travel” program to revive the pandemic-hit tourism sector.
It involves subsidies for tourism-related companies sector and discounts for travelers.
Another significant measure will be hiking salaries for employees in some sectors most affected by the health crisis.
The beneficiaries include health workers, nursing homes, and daycare centers with salaries not at par with the market.
The government also vowed to launch a new subsidy system for oil distribution companies to counteract the recent rise in crude prices.
Some 500,000 million yen from the package will go for investments in strategic economic sectors like semiconductors and artificial intelligence.
The government earmarked 770 billion yen for the defense industry to buy missiles and patrol aircraft, the largest-ever defense spending under an extra budget.
The stimulus package is the largest approved by Japan so far.
The government is likely to submit a 31.9 trillion yen supplementary budget plan for fiscal 2021 during a special parliamentary session to be convened by year-end to finance the package. EFE