People look at a list of restaurants in a building in Tokyo. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko

Gov't to support suppliers of eateries hit by virus emergency


The government said Tuesday it will pay up to 400,000 yen to suppliers hit by plunging sales due to client restaurants and bars cutting opening hours under the fresh round of coronavirus emergency declared in Tokyo and its vicinity.

The one-off financial aid targets businesses such as those supplying chopsticks, napkins and hand towels to dining and drinking establishments in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures that have been asked to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m. under the state of emergency that will last until Feb 7.

Restaurants and bars are already entitled to receive up to 60,000 yen per day if they comply with the request to shorten opening hours. The government has warned it will disclose the names of businesses that do not cooperate.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said small and medium-sized companies that do business with restaurants and bars in Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures can receive up to 400,000 yen if their sales fall in January or February by 50 percent or more from the previous year.

Self-employed business operators can receive a maximum of 200,000 yen.

The ministry said the financial aid is not limited to those directly doing business with restaurants and bars, and also covers farmers and fishers who are indirectly affected by the shortened business hours of such establishments.

In response to a resurgence of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last Thursday declared the second state of emergency in the country for Tokyo and the three adjacent prefectures, effective the following day.

The government says asking people to refrain from nonessential outings and requesting restaurants and bars to shorten opening hours are the most effective ways to curb the spread of the virus.


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As soon as the announcement was made my boss cut my working hours to a third and previous restructuring had halved them.

There is no way I can stay in

Japan now.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Yet again no talk of job guarantees for firms getting this taxpayer funded largesse having to retain jobs or minimum hours for staff and not just pocketing it to maintain their bottom line. The actual majority of the people working and struggling in pandemic hit businesses are not even an afterthought for the Japan Inc./gov combine.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

There are a lot of people out there that need help. The J gov is dropping the ball on the part timers and contract workers while only supporting the restaurants and bars. This is going to bite them in the butt in the next fiscal cycle. Lucky for them though- the Japanese public seem to be masochistic in voting in the very people responsible for making their lives difficult.

Go figure

10 ( +13 / -3 )

They're not really being hit by the virus though, are they? It's the state of emergencies and orders to stay inside that are encouraging people to stay inside. You can't beg for everyone to be shut inside then complain about the effects.

I recommend reading into what you advocate for:

Prominent Lockdown Supporters Have Proven Unusually Indifferent to the Devastating Consequences of Their Policies

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Mori gets ¥2,000,000 a month tax payer money, for spending trillions on a failed project, meanwhile people who work have children are getting a similar amount for a years worth of their time, while not being full time. Something is seriously wrong with the LDPs vision of a beautiful Japan.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Solidarity to all feeling the financial hit.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.

And for some of us, it may never get better.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

And the citizens still wait.

As usual the corporations get the money before anyone else.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

If the government is going to do this, it has to do it properly.

A payment of "up to 400,000" for businesses is just not good enough. Any payments have to be directly related to lost earnings. That doesn't mean a requirement of 50% lost sales to qualify for 'up to 400,000' - it means a pledge to cover a certain % of lost earnings.

If a 50% loss of sales equates to 2m, then 400k is largely worthless.

Businesses are run on turnover and profit margin, and that is why the government needs to pledge to cover % of losses, not just limited amounts of cash.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Oh, and you just know that if Dentsu for example reported a 50% drop in sales, they wouldn't just get a handout of 400k.

Everything is relative to the size of the business. A cap of 400k in this case is a kick in the nether regions, and acknowledgment from the government that it doesn't think 'these kinds of companies' should be any bigger than a pre-conceived idea that they turn over a max 800k/month.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Farmers and fishers don't need any help. The demand for food is inelastic. For farmers and fishers it is a matter of replacing one branch of the supply chain with another and there are enough entrepreneurial middlemen to figure out how to buy the supply from farmers and fishers and get it to people's homes without the government.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The government needs to support everybody during this crisis not just a few different sectors. The trickle down effect of the state of emergency closures effects just about everybody.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I just don't understand the logic of these various 'targeted payments' that seem to be highly arbitrary based on particular industries, or seem to be random fixed amounts irrespective of the company's actual situation.

Why don't they just make one universal system that supports all companies and independent contractors that have lost income?

If your business supplies event companies, or train companies, or any other non-food related company that has been impacted by the pandemic then why are you not worthy of support?!

And why always the hard 50% cut off? If your sales or income fall by 48% you are probably in just as much need of support as if your sales fall by 51%.

It's particularly dumb, because if your income goes down by 40% then you have to decide between working like mad to try and get more income, or cutting back and trying to get your income to drop more so you can get some subsidy.

My income has dropped dramatically, so I'm working like mad to try and get enough income to pay for rent and food. If they ever introduce a subsidy that covers me, and then I end up not qualifying because of that extra effort then I'm going to be very angry. (more so than I am at the moment, which is pretty cheese off).

3 ( +5 / -2 )


Targeted payments in Japan is better that what happened in Canada where, hard to believe, the increase in government debt even outpaced Japan and plenty of people made fraudulent claims and now the Liberal government is hinting that they never have to pay it back.

The Job seeker/job keeper program in Australia is starting to look like some sort of "gold standard."

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Good to hear. I don't want my favourite places to go out of business, but we have to take measures to suppress the spread of the virus.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Businesses have withheld pay rises for years, now cry poor and laying off staff. If you can't run a Buisness profitably than good buy. It's not as if you cared about the staff anyway. I'm sorry for staff. But it's on the company sachios. They want money but don't want to pay money.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good. There will be nothing left TO open or no jobs ON offer post-pandemic if schemes like this are not enacted.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Targeted payments in Japan is better that what happened in Canada where, hard to believe, the increase in government debt even outpaced Japan and plenty of people made fraudulent claims and now the Liberal government is hinting that they never have to pay it back.

Depends on your definition of 'better' I guess. Personally I think financial support in japan has been woefully inadequate, badly and unfairly targeted, and has basically abandoned anyone who isn't in the food industry.

In a situation like this, it's not the time to be too worried about government debt and fraudulent claims. Those are unfortunate but unavoidable, and shouldn't be used as an excuse for the government not to support those who need it.

If necessary, they can get it back through future taxes, and chase up fraudulent claims. The cost of those is likely to be minimal compared to the cost of providing no support.


2 ( +3 / -1 )

The uselessness of the J-media needs being investigated, baffling because they are

not under the CCP yet keep behaving like they are. They have done a marvellous

job keeping the public uninterested even when heavily impacted by policies.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's bizarre that a supplier of disposable chopsticks and face towels gets support when lots of other businesses are not. Those products are hardly the stuff of expertise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@kohakueebisu: But they ARE items that were used in abundance by thousands and thousands of places now effectively shuttered. Which businesses would you start with then? Name your top 5.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The eateries can still open for a large part of the day, selling food and drinks, and still get some income.

What about those businesses that cannot work at all, for which work at home is impossible, and get NO income?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But how about all the next suppliers of the suppliers of the suppliers....and so on and their last suppliers in the chain, the working normal employees? Answer that instead!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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