Provisional Translation

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


(Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 8:42 am to 8:47 am)

[Questions and answers:]


My question is in regard to the second set of emergency measures against the new coronavirus that the Prime Minster mentioned a few days ago. This weekend saw a series of various cancellations, and the situation is becoming severe for small to medium enterprises. I’d like to ask in what way are you ascertaining that business operators urgently need support, in what way are you thinking of taking countermeasures, and also while the filing and payment due dates for taxes has been extended by one month, will you consider such similar measures for taxes again in the future?


We must properly carry out financing support for primarily small to medium, micro, and small-scale business operators. In the “Emergency Economic Measures for Response to COVID-19” released on February 13, it was announced that Japan Finance Corp. is providing emergency loans of 500 billion yen and providing support for the guarantee framework. In particular, regarding the topic of financing in regards to second-tier regional banks, credit associations and cooperatives, it’s already clear to them that this is about the need to smoothly conduct financing. The FSA has already made a request that is going around. Also, in consideration of the impact on regional economies, the Prime Minister expressed his stance toward taking forceful measures to assist business operators that have been impacted financially due to the spread of the infection and or those that have postponed events or suspended operations at the request of the government, starting with financing support. As to what measures should be taken, we will need to hear the business owners’ opinions on that. The government agencies concerned are now looking into this, and when that is completed I believe they will come to the FSA for discussion. We are directly in charge of monitoring financial institutions, so as I mentioned just before, we are already in talks with these financial operators.

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