• Jiji


The government said Friday that it will raise the amount of cooperation money paid to businesses that have closed their large-scale facilities at its request under the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Also, the government will extend until the end of June its employment adjustment subsidy program for companies in areas covered by the emergency that put staff on paid leave amid the pandemic. It was set to end on Friday.

Department stores, shopping centers, electronics retail stores and other facilities with floor space of over 1,000 square meters are eligible for the cooperation-money system.

The value of the government’s current support, at ¥200,000 per day for each compliant business operator, was criticized as too small.

Under the revamped program, the government will provide ¥200,000 per building for large-scale facilities.

It will also give extra cooperation money of ¥2,000 per day for each shop located in such facilities. Movie theaters will receive additional aid of ¥20,000 per screen per day.

“We decided to review the management (of the cooperation money program) in view of the scale” of facilities, said economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads the government’s response to the virus crisis, at a news conference Friday.

The welfare ministry has also provided up to ¥15,000 per day per employee in employment adjustment subsidies for small and midsize companies under a special measure.

It had previously said that the current level of employment adjustment support would be maintained in May and June for restaurants, bars and other businesses in areas covered by the government’s pre-emergency COVID-19 steps, as well as businesses across Japan that see their sales drop by 30% or more.

From May, employment adjustment support will be cut by 10% to ¥13,500 per employee for small and midsize companies in areas outside of emergency-declared regions and for many large companies.

The government’s state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic currently covers Tokyo and the prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo. It is scheduled to remain in force until May 11.

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