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Japan to Declare Emergency, Approves $1T Stimulus Package


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is preparing to declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday as COVID-19 cases mount in the capital of Tokyo.

It is expected that the Japanese government will convene an unofficial meeting of experts on Monday and Abe will address the government’s coronavirus task force.

The ruling parties will then meet later to approve the country’s largest-ever stimulus package, totaling 108 trillion yen ($1 trillion), which would then be formalized at a cabinet meeting Tuesday, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

The declaration of emergency would impact Tokyo and Osaka, as well as surrounding areas, and is based on a recently amended law giving local authorities the power to request that people stay at home and to ask schools and businesses to shut down. People in affected areas would be asked not to venture out except to purchase groceries, medicine, and to complete other designated tasks.

Japan’s constitution does not allow the government to demand that people stay at home, and no penalties can be imposed on individuals or businesses who refuse to follow instructions.

The stimulus package is expected to come in two phases, with the first aimed at limiting job losses and bankruptcies and the second geared toward initiating a post-pandemic, V-shaped economic recovery.

The stimulus would provide 300,000 Yen ($2,751) to low-income households that have lost income due to the virus and would also have measures for households with children, according to BloombergQuint.

A new economic team has been set up inside Japan’s National Security Agency.

Tokyo Mayor Yuriko Koike has told residents that the virus puts the city in peril. On Monday, she announced that the local government has “begun preparation” for the emergency.

As of Sunday, 1,033 persons had tested positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo, with 30 deaths, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The World Health Organization numbers indicate there are now 3,271 confirmed cases in Japan with 70 associated fatalities.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Benzinga, COVID-19, Japan, Shinzō Abe, Stimulus


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