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Japan gov't mulls giving 50,000 yen per kid to low-income households due to high prices

The prime minister's office is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward in this file photo. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government aims to give 50,000-yen (about $390) per child to low-income households after it identified such children as needing emergency support measures to cope with surging prices, it was learned on April 19.

    Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has positioned support for the needy as one of the pillars of emergency measures and ordered the finalization of specific steps by the end of April, and the focus is on the eligibility and amount of benefits.

    The government has provided handouts twice in fiscal 2020 and once in fiscal 2021 to low-income child-rearing households severely affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, only single-parent households receiving child rearing allowance were eligible for the benefits, but in fiscal 2021, the scope was expanded to include all households exempt from resident tax. In all cases, 50,000 yen was provided per child to eligible households.

    The same framework is in mind for the cash handout currently under consideration, and coordination with the ruling party is underway toward using approximately 200 billion yen (about $1.6 billion) from the reserve fund in the initial budget for fiscal 2022.

    The emergency measures also consider relaxing the requirements to receive support money for the needy, which is provided to such households affected by the pandemic.

    (Japanese original by Yuki Nakagawa, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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