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A single mother in her 40s with two children has been walking a financial tightrope since she lost her job at a restaurant in the summer of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At that time, she took out a government loan worth ¥2 million, the maximum amount allowed under a special program for people who have lost their income or had it reduced due to the pandemic. She now works at another restaurant, but with one of her children in university, she has been forced to dip into her savings to make ends meet.

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