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Coronavirus

Japan struggles to dish out $270bn in untapped COVID stimulus

Consumer-spending programs like 'Go To Travel' stall amid slow vaccine rollout

"Go To Eat" and "Go To Travel" are among the programs designed to encourage consumer spending in pandemic-hit industries, but much of the funding remains untapped.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan is sitting on 30 trillion yen ($271 billion) of coronavirus relief funding, underscoring the struggles the government faces in delivering financial support in a timely fashion.

The government has budgeted 73 trillion yen since spring of last year to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outlays include 100,000-yen stimulus payments per person and funding for Go To Travel programs that seek to lift the battered tourism industry.

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