Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 11 - 17  > Gov’t should hurry to improve COVID-19-related measures before compiling 3rd supplementary budget
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 November 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should hurry to improve COVID-19-related measures before compiling 3rd supplementary budget

November 12, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide recently instructed his Cabinet members to compile a 2020 third supplementary draft budget aimed at implementing additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to support economic activities. The number of new infections is increasing significantly again nationwide, which strongly suggests the onset of a third wave. In order to prevent a rapid escalation in the coronavirus spread, the government should immediately take steps to improve testing capabilities and medical systems drastically as well as to beef up business and employment support. The government should prioritize the implementation of these measures over drafting the third supplementary budget plan.

The Suga government, however, shows no intent to take concrete measures to boost testing and care capacities, and appropriate support for public health centers. While explaining that one of the major focuses in the third supplementary budget is to prevent a COVID-19 spread, the government is reluctant to change its PCR testing policy to an aggressive one and provide financial support to medical institutions suffering a loss of earnings.

In regard to people’s livelihoods, the Suga government is also unwilling to work to alleviate the general public’s hardships. What the people are now facing is a business and employment crisis. There are concerns that the number of bankruptcies, business closures, and job losses may increase in coming months. Many business owners are crying out for help, saying, “If the situation remains unchanged, my business will go under by the end of the year” and “I will soon become unable to continue my business operations.”

The general public is earnestly calling on the government to pay subsidies to help small- and medium-sized enterprises survive and to improve the current financial aid programs for rent payments and unpaid temporary leave. However, the government pays little regard to these requests and is even considering cutting down on exceptional measures in its program supporting companies maintaining jobs. Such a streamlining of assistance is unacceptable. The government should extend and improve the exceptional measures.

The government has yet to decide on how to use 7.3 trillion yen of the ten trillion yen allocated to the reserve fund of the 2020 second supplementary budget. The Suga government should listen to the general public’s call for urgent measures regarding PCR tests, medical care, and people’s livelihoods, and promote Diet discussions on how to use the remaining reserve fund.

Past related articles:
> Support program for coronavirus-hit SME workers should be improved: JCP Miyamoto [October 23, 2020]
> Only 4% of budget for support program paid to coronavirus-hit workers [October 15, 2020]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved