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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 8 - 14  > Local gov’ts in favor of loss-of-income benefits unlike central gov’t
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2020 April 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

Local gov’ts in favor of loss-of-income benefits unlike central gov’t

April 11, 2020
Since Prime Minister Abe Shinzo declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 situation on April 7, local governments, especially Tokyo which is covered by the declaration, have been clashing with the central government over necessary measures to be undertaken under the declaration.

A major focal point in the dispute is compensation for corporate losses caused by a request to suspend their businesses. The national government is showing its unwillingness to take compensatory measures.

Following the emergency declaration, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government intended to request various industries to temporarily suspend their business activities. It, however, was pressured by the Abe government to narrow down the request target and to delay the business suspension request for about two weeks. The possible reason why the Abe administration tried to set a two-week waiting period is that it fears that the suspension request could trigger a demand for a state measure to cover business losses among a wider range of industries.

The Tokyo government on April 10 announced a list of industries and facilities to implement temporary closure and a plan to provide cash benefits to business entities implementing the suspension request.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, at a regular briefing on the day, said that the government will not consider implementing compensation measures. He made this remark in response to a question from the press about the possibility of adopting Tokyo’s plan.

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko on April 10 at a press conference in the Diet building commented on the dispute between the central government and the Tokyo Metropolitan government over the suspension request and criticized the Abe government’s refusal to compensate firms for their losses.

Tamura demanded that the government stop repeating that providing a budget allocation for compensation for the loss of business earnings is difficult. She said, “The Abe government should think again, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, what measures should be taken and to which facilities and industries the suspension request should be issued.”
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