Japan's Cabinet green lights use of 1.2 bln USD to fund disaster relief package

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-08 19:13:13|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Cabinet on Friday green lit plans to utilize around 130 billion yen (1.2 billion U.S. dollars) to fund an emergency package that will be used to finance reconstruction efforts in areas battered by powerful typhoons recently.

The funds will be allocated from reserves from the state budget for fiscal 2019 through March and, according to the government, will be earmarked for the reconstruction of damaged homes, infrastructure and supporting the recovery of farms and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).

The emergency package was created to deal with the aftermath of a number of natural disasters that have pummeled Japan recently, resulting in loss of life as well as extensive damage to private homes, agricultural sectors and infrastructure.

In September, Japan was lashed by Typhoon Faxai only to be battered again by Typhoon Hagibis, the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in decades, a month later in October.

While the central government and local municipalities affected by the disasters continue to count the costs, the damage caused to the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors across 38 prefectures has already topped 200 billion yen (1.8 billion U.S. dollars).

More than 88,000 homes have been totally destroyed or partially damaged, the government has confirmed.

Those who have lost their homes will be given a maximum of three million yen (27,400 U.S. dollars) by the government and subsidies will be allocated to SMEs in Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Nagano prefectures, which were the areas hardest-hit by the disasters, the government said.

With Japan relying more heavily on tourism of late amid a lack of economic drivers and a hollowed out workforce caused by the nation's rapidly aging society and plummeting birthrate, the government has said it will offer discounts of 5,000 yen (45 U.S. dollars) a night per person visiting the areas hardest-hit by the disasters.

This, it hopes, will also help the regions to recover business that has slumped in the wake of the disasters.