Japan Announces Additional $16 Billion for Coronavirus-hit Firms

Japan will lift its special financing for small and mid-size corporations struck by the coronavirus (COVID-19) to 1.6 trillion yen ($15.6 billion), based on a government document.

Japan Announces Additional $16 Billion for Coronavirus-hit Firms

The financing, which the government is slated to declare Tuesday, marks a pointy increase from the nearly 500 billion yen previously declared.

The government will use public financial establishments along with the Japan Finance Corporation and the Development Bank of Japan to provide the funds, based on the document.

The shift comes as the widening coronavirus epidemic has shaken the Japanese economy, which was already on the brink of recession. Finance Minister Taro Aso last week urged public and private financial establishments to arrange efforts to ensure smooth corporate investment.

The world’s third-largest economy contracted by an annualized 7.1% in the three months from December, worse than initially thought and the steepest drop since 2014, revised data confirmed Monday.

The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has exceeded 1,100, along with those from a cruise ship, and recorded 16 deaths as the country prepares to host the Summer Olympic Games in July and August.

As part of the moves, around 500 billion yen will be allocated for smaller corporations, along with those whose sales have been affected by the epidemic. That’s on top of the 500 billion previously declared.