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Coronavirus

Japan Approves Largest Budget for Combined $2.1T

TOKYO — Japan’s Cabinet approved the largest supplementary budget of 32 trillion yen ($296 billion) to fund stimulus projects aimed at softening the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The extra budget for fiscal year 2020 is the second in a month. It will partly finance projects providing support for small businesses affected by the outbreak, funding to strengthen medical systems and for medical workers, and subsidies for local governments to step up regional coronavirus measures. The budget also will provide money for a possible second or third wave of infections.

Cabinet approval brings the combined total of the stimulus worth more than 230 trillion yen ($2.1 trillion).

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared an end to a coronavirus state of emergency Monday in hopes of resuming the economy while taking disease prevention measures. With soft social distancing measures and business closures, Japan has 16,000 confirmed virus cases and about 800 deaths, much fewer than many other countries.

He says the combined size of the stimulus package accounts to 40% of the gross domestic product of the world’s No. 3 economy.

"I will defend the Japanese economy at any cost against the once-in-a-century crisis,” Abe said during a meeting of ruling and government officials.

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