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Japan to offer $882 in cash and vouchers to minors


Japan to offer $882 in cash and vouchers to minors

Photo: Reuters

Japan will offer a combined value of $882 in cash and vouchers to minors today as part of a stimulus package aimed at boosting the pandemic-hit economy.

Although Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito disagreed on the means of the handouts, they agreed on cash payouts to low-income households.

The government is expected to use a portion of its reserve funds for the expenditure.

In his first policy speech in October, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida suggested cash payouts to those hard-hit by the pandemic valued at a total of $268 billion. But Japan will spend roughly $488 billion on those most affected by the pandemic as well as on businesses, with an annual income cap of $84,693.

In contrast to Kishida’s pledge, Komeito had called for a stimulus package targeting low-income households—indicating friction earlier on in the newly-formed government. A key task for Kishida is to shift public opinion after his predecessor Yoshihide Suga botched Japan’s pandemic response.

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Expect Tokyo’s record expenditure to pull Japan’s lagging economy ahead in the short-term, but government debt to ensue in the medium term as the government has previously released a pandemic-oriented stimulus package of $3 trillion.

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