National

Japanese government weighs cash handouts to households to ease coronavirus impact

Kyodo

The government and the ruling coalition are considering providing cash to households in an effort to boost personal spending amid the coronavirus outbreak, sources have said.

Officials and lawmakers are studying the possibility of extending more than ¥12,000 ($112) per person, a level the government provided to all Japanese people in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the sources said Wednesday.

The envisaged cash handouts may serve as a pillar in an emergency economic package the government and the coalition are expected to put together as early as April.

The government and the coalition, which comprises the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner Komeito, will work out details such as whether the government will give cash to all citizens or limit the recipients to child-rearing and low-income households.

They will make a decision after taking into account the views of experts in a meeting starting Thursday, the sources said.

The outbreak has forced many people in Japan to refrain from going out and has caused a sharp drop in the number of inbound tourists, which is dampening domestic consumption and also causing pain to the tourism sector.

Coronavirus banner