• Jiji


A senior opposition party official urged the government on Sunday to maintain a ¥300,000 cash handout program that had been under discussion for households suffering sharp drops in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While praising to the government’s new ¥100,000 handout program for all citizens, Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said on television, “The ¥300,000 should be maintained as it is designed to address steep income drops and is different (from the ¥100,000 handout) in terms of roles.”

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to abandon the ¥300,000 aid program for distressed families and, instead, dole out ¥100,000 to each resident without setting an income limit.

Fukuyama criticized the government’s policy handling, saying that the shift in decisions has led to distrust and delays in policy implementation.

Hirofumi Hirano, secretary-general of the Democratic Party for the People, and Nobuyuki Baba, secretary-general of Nippon Ishin no Kai, asked for cooperation from the ruling coalition on an opposition-proposed bill to allow a rent moratorium for businesses.

Akira Koike, chief of the secretariat of the Japanese Communist Party, stressed again the need for compensation to businesses that have halted operations at the request of the government.

But Tomomi Inada, executive acting secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, sought support for the policy shift over the cash benefits. “We hope to ensure national unity without dividing the public by distributing a uniform ¥100,000,” she said.

Tetsuo Saito, secretary-general of Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the LDP, said the government needs to consider measures for people experiencing rapid drops in income as part of its next economic package.

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