Tokyo [Japan], January 15 (ANI/Xinhua): Japan's cabinet on Friday decided to use 741.8 billion yen (7.15 billion US dollars) in reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to boost subsidies for restaurants and bars shortening their operating hours in line with the emergency virus declaration.
Amid a surge in virus cases, the Japanese government on Wednesday expanded its state of emergency to combat the third wave of infections to cover 11 prefectures nationwide.
These include Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu, Fukuoka and Tochigi, in addition to Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures that were declared a week ago.
Under the state of emergency through Feb. 7, restaurants and bars are asked to stop serving alcohol by 7:00 pm. and close their doors by 8:00 pm local time.
The extra funding will be made available so that regional governments can more easily provide financial support to restaurants and bars that comply with requests to shorten their operating hours.
State subsidies of up to 60,000 yen (578 U.S. dollars) per day will be made available, increasing from 40,000 yen when the state of emergency over the virus was declared in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures last week.
To provide such subsidies, the government had earmarked around 270 billion yen (2.60 billion US dollars) by the end of last year and allocated a total of 11.5 trillion yen (110.94 billion U.S. dollars) in reserve funds under two extra budgets for the current fiscal year to be used to combat the resurgent virus. (ANI/Xinhua)