April 1: COVID-19 round-up
- Business sentiment among large Japanese manufacturers turned sour in March for the first time in seven years, weighed down by fears about the global economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis, the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey showed Wednesday, Kyodo reports.
- The virus fallout is also taking a toll on jobs, with the number of workers in Japan expected to be laid off or see their employment contracts end projected to total 1,021, the labor ministry has said.
- Japan’s nonregular workers may also take a gut punch amid the pandemic. The JT’s Magdalena Osumi takes a look at the current legal frameworks in place for nonregular workers and sick absence.
- Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party is calling for a ¥60 trillion ($556 billion) stimulus package to help households and small businesses survive the fallout.
- In the capital, Tokyo is considering keeping city-operated schools closed through early May, according to media reports Wednesday. The metropolitan government had previously said it was planning to reopen at least some schools in the new academic year next week.
- Any decision by Tokyo would come as coronavirus infections continue to roil the capital, with cases hitting a daily record of 78 on Tuesday.
- Neighboring South Korea said Tuesday it will open the school year with online classes next week and reschedule its annual college entrance exams slated for November as concerns persist.