Provisional Translation

Press Conference by ASO Taro, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services


(Friday, February 21, 2020, 8:45 am to 8:51 am)

[Questions and answers:]


My question is in regard to the domestic response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Some small to medium-sized enterprises have expressed concern regarding financing. I’d like to ask what your opinion is of the current response and what additional measures you think may possibly be taken going forward.


On February 7, the relevant ministries, including the FSA, requested private financial institutions to provide a precise, detailed explanation to business operators and properly carry out financing necessary for the continuation of their businesses. Since then, we have already had talks about requiring the appropriate handling of the modification of loan conditions, and I am aware that they are making various efforts in response to that, setting up contact points for funding, and creating emergency contact points at regional banks. However, in emergency measures concerning infectious disease, the Prime Minister has already asked further in relation to small to medium-sized enterprises, and I believe that the Japan Finance Corporation has already set up the financial facility of 500 billion yen. Currently there seems no voice being raised regarding financial difficulties from specific areas. So at a stage where that occurs, a response by which we could properly handle the situation is already in place. At the current stage, we cannot tell whether further measures will be necessary or not, thus we will closely monitor the situation.

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