Japan’s premier declares month-long state of emergency in 7 prefectures, including Tokyo
Japan on Tuesday unveiled country’s largest ever $990 billion stimulus package to help struggling businesses and households cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, local media reported.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has granted approval to the package, according to Kyodo news agency.
“Japan’s economy faces biggest crisis in postwar era,” Kyodo quoted Abe as saying.
The economic package is equivalent to 20% of the country’s GDP.
The economic package came after Abe declared a monthlong state of emergency in seven prefectures, including capital Tokyo.
During 2008 financial crisis, Japan had announced 56.8 trillion yen ($52billion) emergency package.
“We are in a situation in which the spread of infections is rapid and widespread across the country, threatening to seriously impact people’s lives and the economy,” Abe said in a meeting with the task force tackling the coronavirus.
“We are not planning to carry out lockdowns similar to those overseas and will maintain services such as public transportation that are necessary for our economy and society as much as possible,” Abe said.
Abe asked Japanese citizens to reduce person-to-person contact by 70-80%.
“The increase in infections will peak out in two weeks and shift to a decline,” he said.
Since appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 184 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Over 1.36 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the global death toll neared 76,000 and more than 291,900 recoveries.