Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to propose state subsidies to help businesses pay rents amid financial difficulties caused by the new coronavirus, according to LDP sources.
Under the proposal, the government will provide subsidies until the end of the year for small businesses and the self-employed to cover the portion of no-interest, collateral-free bank loans they used to pay rents, the sources said.
The rent support is expected to cover businesses that have suffered a 50 percent year-on-year drop in sales, the same condition as for the benefits of up to 2 million yen financed by the government's fiscal 2020 supplementary budget.
The LDP is discussing plans to include businesses that have seen an average sales fall of some 30 pct over several months to the list of eligible subsidy recipients, according to the sources.
On the subsidy rate, LDP officials have called for two-thirds and one-half of rents.
The party plans to set the upper limit of the proposed rent subsidies by looking at the average rent for businesses in Tokyo, which is highest in Japan.