‘Cash to all people’: Japan’s govt offers $930 virus stimulus payment
Japan will offer a cash payment of 100,000 yen ($930) to every resident, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday. “We are moving quickly to deliver cash to all people,” Abe said in a televised news conference, explaining his decision to expand a state of emergency nationwide.
An initial plan to provide three times that amount to households, which have seen incomes slashed because of the coronavirus, was ditched and Abe apologized for the confusion, according to AFP. The government had declared a state of emergency in seven regions of the country but expanded this on Thursday to include the entire country. The PM said this decision was taken in a bid to restrict domestic travel during the Golden Week holidays in late April and early May.
Authorities will reassess the situation on May 6 at the end of the public holiday, Abe said, adding: “If we can all refrain from going out, we can drastically reduce the number of patients in two weeks.”
The restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus have decimated the world’s third-biggest economy, which was heading for recession even before the crisis, contracting by 1.8 percent in the final quarter of last year.