• Kyodo

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Japan will spend a record ¥55.7 trillion ($488 billion) on an economic stimulus package aimed at easing the impact from the coronavirus pandemic, a government source said Thursday.

Including private sector funds, the package, to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday, will be worth ¥78.9 trillion.

The package has turned out to be larger than expected as the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will increase support for households and companies in an attempt to meet his goal of redistributing wealth.

Under the COVID-19 relief measures, there will be ¥100,000 handouts in cash and vouchers for children aged 18 or younger, with an income cap of ¥9.6 million, as well as aid for students facing financial difficulties.

The package will also include financial aid of up to ¥2.5 million each for businesses suffering from plunging revenues due to the virus spread, and wage hikes of about 3% for child care and nursery school workers as well as nurses, government sources have said.

Along with funds left over from the fiscal 2020 budget and the issuance of new bonds, the stimulus is planned to be financed by a supplementary budget, which Kishida's administration aims to enact following its passage during an extraordinary parliamentary session to be convened by the year-end.

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