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JIJI

Extending the emergency declaration for the coronavirus by a month would double the ranks of the jobless to 778,000, according to an economist’s projection.

A one-month extension would keep consumption down along with people’s movements, further deepening the damage to the economy, economists said.

Toshihiro Nagahama, a senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, had projected that some 368,000 people would lose their jobs during the state of emergency as long as it expires Wednesday as planned.

But Nagahama now estimates that number will double if the emergency lasts another month as the government reportedly plans.

Takahide Kiuchi, executive economist at Nomura Research Institute, said a one-month extension would cause private consumption to drop by an additional ¥13.9 trillion, expanding the negative impact to a total of ¥27.8 trillion.

Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Ltd., had projected the state of emergency would lower real gross domestic product by 1.6 percent in fiscal 2020. He says the planned extension would push GDP growth down to a negative 6.3 percent for the year ending March 2021.

Although GDP is expected to rebound sharply after the slump predicted for the April-June quarter, it is unlikely to return the previous quarter’s level within fiscal 2020.

Voluntary restrictions on going out would continue until drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 are developed, Kono said.

“We’ll remain unable to return to the levels of economic activities we used to have for about a year after the state of emergency is lifted,” he predicted.

Article first published in The Japan Times on May 2.

Warm up

One-minute chat about your job.

Game

Collect words related to the state of emergency,

e.g., disaster, telework, closure, pandemic, etc.

New words

1) expire: to come to an end, e.g., “My contract with the company expires in May.”

2) slump: to fall or sink suddenly, “She slumped in her chair, depressed.”

3) voluntary: of one’s own will, e.g., “We are funded by voluntary donations.”

Guess the headline

Emergency declaration e_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ could d_ _ _ _ _ job losses in Japan

Questions

1) What might happen if the state of emergency is extended?

2) What does the economist think will happen to the GDP?

3) What may be needed before regulations are relaxed?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Do you agree with the state of emergency extension?

2) How has your job been affected by the pandemic?

3) What do we need to improve the economy?

Reference

新型コロナウイルスの影響は公衆衛生だけでなく経済や雇用にも大きな影響を及ぼしています。また、それによって人生を狂わされ、さらには命まで危うくなるという人も、状況が長引くにつれて増加の一途をたどることでしょう。ウイルスの感染拡大防止と経済活動を天秤にかけることは非常に難しく、どのような道を選ぶにしても一定の犠牲を生んでしまうことは残念ながら避けられそうにありません。

こうした状況下で政府はどのような決断をするのか、また私たちができることはあるのか朝英語の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみましょう。

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