Japan announces US$490 billion stimulus package
The Japanese government has announced a record US$490 billion stimulus package aimed at easing the blow of the pandemic on the economy.
The package has been reported to include cash and coupon handouts to families with children under 18 who meet an income cap, and pay raises for nurses and care workers.
Small companies that are eligible can also expect to receive financial support amounting to 2.5 million yen (US$21,836) each, according to Kyodo News.
The spending “is enough to deliver a sense of safety and hope to the Japanese people”, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, reports AFP. “We have been able to build economic measures that will open the new society after the pandemic,” the prime minister said.
The stimulus package marks the third such injection by the government since the pandemic struck last year, with the economy dealt severe blows as measures were introduced to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In 3Q2021, Japan’s economy shrank by 0.8% as a rise in COVID-19 cases impacted spending and supply-chain issues affected business operations.