Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is doubling down on his stimulus measures with more than
$1 trillion of extra help to keep businesses and households afloat amid the coronavirus
The 117 trillion yen ($1.1 trillion) package includes financing help for struggling companies, subsidies to help firms pay rent and several trillion yen for health care assistance and support for local economies, according to a finance ministry statement on Wednesday. The spending will be funded by a second supplementary budget of 31.9 trillion yen that breaks a record for extra-budget spending set only last month.
The latest aid was finalised after data last week confirmed Japan has sunk into a deep recession and polls show support for PM Shinzo Abe’s cabinet dropping to a record low over its handling of the outbreak.
While the government ended its nationwide state of emergency and new virus cases have tailed off, the economic outlook is still grim. Analysts see gross domestic product shrinking by more than 20% this quarter and say the recovery could be slow as exports, tourism and business investment struggle to rebound. The new measures match the overall size of April’s 117 trillion package, bringing the total of the two packages to just under 234 trillion yen.