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.© KYODO