Tokyo restaurant and bar owners angry over COVID-19 aid system

Japan Times -- Jul 25
Restaurant and bar operators in Tokyo are angry at the metropolitan government over a new program to provide coronavirus relief to those meeting requests for business suspensions and other measures, which comes as an existing aid program faces delays.

The new system, devised by the central government, was introduced so that relief money can be paid in advance to establishments that comply with the requests.

The metropolitan government has started accepting applications for the payments while also delaying procedures to accept relief applications for past months under the existing system, drawing fire from many operators.

The metropolitan government is asking establishments that serve alcohol to suspend operations, while those that don’t serve alcohol are being asked to close by 8 p.m. Compliant businesses are eligible for the aid money.

But the metropolitan government has been criticized for being slow to distribute the money. In response to this, the central government decided on the speedier payment system before putting Tokyo under its fourth coronavirus state of emergency on July 12.

Under the new system, restaurant and bar operators submitting written promises to comply with metropolitan government requests can receive Y40,000 per day quickly after submitting the paperwork. They can also apply for more help later on.

- Japan Times