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Japan to declare emergency, unveils $990bn Covid-19 package

TOKYO, April 6, 2020

The Japanese Prim Minister said on Monday that his country would impose a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday to try to stop the coronavirus, and proposed a $990 billion stimulus package to soften the economic blow.
 
According to Reuters, more than 3,500 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Japan and 85 have died – not a huge outbreak compared with some hot spots. 
 
But the numbers keep rising with particular alarm over the spread in Tokyo, which has more than 1,000 cases, including 83 new ones on Monday.
 
"Given the state of crisis on the medical front, the government was advised to prepare to declare the state of emergency," said PM Shinzo Abe.
 
An emergency, which Abe said would last about a month, will give governors authority to call on people to stay at home and businesses to close, but will not be as restrictive as lockdowns in some other countries.
 
In most cases, there will be no penalties for ignoring requests to stay at home, and enforcement will rely more on peer pressure and respect for authority, stated Abe.
 
He also said the government had decided to launch a stimulus package of about 108 trillion yen, including more than 6 trillion yen for cash payouts to households and small businesses and 26 trillion yen to allow deferred social security and tax payments.
 
It was not immediately clear how much of that package would be new government spending.
 
"The government wants to help businesses continue and protect jobs," Abe added.



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