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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > 70% of actors out of work due to COVID-19 outbreak
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

70% of actors out of work due to COVID-19 outbreak

April 28, 2020
Seventy percent of actors became unemployed April. This was revealed in the results of a survey of actors and voice actors which the Japan Actors Union recently conducted to gain a picture of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on actors.

In the survey, asked about the current economic conditions, 28% of respondents said that they will have no earnings in April and 34% said their earnings will be halved.

Among survey questions, there was a question about a government program to provide cash benefits to people who experience economic distress attributed to job losses and business suspensions due to the coronavirus outbreak. Under the program, applicants are required to prove their decrease in income. Regarding this requirement, 46% of the respondents said that it is difficult if not impossible to provide the required documentation. As the reason, 40% answered that they have no documentation as they were notified of the cancellation of events scheduled for April orally, such as on the telephone.

In the free-response section, many respondents wrote comments such as these: “The government should provide cash benefits without requiring documentation”; “I want an across-the-board cash benefit program to be created”; and “A special loan program for smaller businesses, including individual entrepreneurs, is useless. The government should focus on establishing a cash grant program.”

Meanwhile, on April 27, both Houses of the Diet in their plenary sessions began discussions on a government-proposed supplementary draft budget designed to implement an emergency economic package in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The Japanese Communist Party proposed that the government incorporate in its draft budget funds for a program which guarantees 80% of the earnings of self-employed, freelance workers, and other people who cannot work due to the virus outbreak and for a measure to compensate for loss of revenue and additional costs associated with coronavirus-related cancellation of events.

Past related article:
> Abe reluctant to take measures to relieve performing artists’ economic distress due to corona crisis [March 24, 2020]
> JCP proposes direct bailout of individuals affected financially by new coronavirus [March 27, 2020]
> Unions and organizations for freelance workers call for gov’t financial assistance amid coronavirus crisis [March 13 & 14, 2020]
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