News On Japan

Tokyo starts distributing cash to businesses shuttered due to virus

May 12 (Japan Times) - The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday started compensating small- and medium-sized businesses that had suspended operations through last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Subsidies for businesses and nonprofit organizations closed between April 16 and last Wednesday are worth ¥500,000 ($4,700) for single-shop owners, and ¥1 million for operators of multiple sites.

The government authority, which began accepting applications from April 22, had completed screening procedures for some of the quickest cases by Sunday.

It expects to receive up to 130,000 applications by the June 15 deadline, and had received 68,000 by Monday morning.

Following the extension of the nationwide state of emergency through May 31, the metropolitan government plans to additionally pay the same amount of subsidies to businesses that remain closed until the end of the month.

The Tokyo government has put aside some ¥96 billion for such aid, and will earmark the same amount for further assistance in a supplementary budget to be deliberated at a session of the metropolitan assembly set to run through June 10.

The screening process requires businesses to supply posters or copies of website pages announcing their suspension of operations, and which clearly state the shop name and period of closure.

Hairdressers and beauty salons are not among businesses that have been asked to shut, but will receive ¥150,000 if they do so voluntarily.


Japan Post has announced its first price increase in nearly 30 years, set to take effect this fall, unveiling new stamps and postcards.

Canadian police have arrested a 32-year-old man for the fatal stabbing of Japanese chef Wataru Kakiuchi in Vancouver's Chinatown last week.

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Two women, aged 21 and 19, were arrested for the murder of a high school girl from Rumoi City, Hokkaido, after allegedly pushing her off a bridge in Asahikawa City.



Rakugo performer Katsura Zakoba has passed away on June 12 due to asthma at the age of 76.

A university student has been arrested on suspicion of trespassing at a junior high school in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, after a shocked staff member found the man in a closet wrapped in a futon.

An 80-year-old man has been arrested in Chiba Prefecture for keeping weakened cats in deplorable conditions with accumulated feces and failing to provide proper care.

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A large swarm of bees was found gathering on the sidewalk in front of Tokyo's Shinjuku Station on Tuesday afternoon, with authorities urging people to avoid creating a disturbance.

Two gang members have been arrested for allegedly harassing a reporter in Tokyo's Kabukicho district.

A Brazilian man drowned while trying to save an elementary school student who was drowning in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday.

An explosion and fire at the Osaka-Kansai Expo construction site in March has been detailed by a male worker who was near the scene. In early June, he provided his account to the Asahi Shimbun, along with photos showing damage not previously disclosed by the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.