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Japan looks to guarantee aid for COVID business closures, and add fines

New legislation would spell out financial support to give owners' certainty

Japan wants a new law to ensure financial support for businesses, such as these in Tokyo's Kichijoji district, asked to reduce hours amid the pandemic. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan's government and ruling coalition want aid for businesses that comply with pandemic-related closures to be enshrined in law, with the possibility of fines for those that ignore the requests, Nikkei has learned.

Japanese law makes no specific provision for such aid when local authorities urge stores and other establishments to close or shorten their hours.

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