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Fintech startups fill gap in Japan's coronavirus cash crunch

Quick access to funds draws small businesses away from traditional lending

A shop that sells mochi rice cakes stands shuttered in the shopping area around Fukuoka's Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine on April 8. Japan's emergency declarations have hit small businesses hard. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

TOKYO -- Small and midsize businesses in Japan are turning to financial technology startups for cash as the coronavirus crisis saps their earnings.

Online applications and approval allow companies to access funding as soon as the same day they apply, bypassing slower-moving credit lines from traditional banks.

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