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Japan eyes $350 handout as part of energy aid package

More than 10m low-income households seen receiving cash payments

Japan imports almost all of its oil and natural gas, meaning that a rapidly weakening yen has only exacerbated the surge in energy costs in the country. (Photo by Ryo Mukano)

TOKYO -- Japan could distribute 50,000 yen ($350) in cash handouts to low-income households as early as fall under a new relief package for those hurt the most by surging food and energy prices.

With pricier resources and a weakening yen accelerating inflation in Japan, the government is weighing a round of fresh assistance to ease the public's mounting pain. The cash assistance would apply to households earning too little to pay local income taxes. Significantly more than 10 million are expected to qualify for the payments, which would be funded by the government's budget reserves for fiscal 2022.

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