Cash Flow Support for Businesses
(Statement by Mr. Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services, and Mr. Kajiyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)

On April 7, the government decided on the “Emergency Economic Measures to cope with COVID-19” (an alteration to which was approved at the Cabinet meeting on April 20). Under the FY2020 supplementary budget proposal submitted to the Diet on April 27, the government has put forward plans to expand loans provided by the Japan Finance Corporation, and to also introduce effectively interest-free and unsecured loans provided via private financial institutions, utilizing local governments’ loan programs for the purpose of helping SMEs continue their businesses.

Today, on the premise that the supplementary budget will be approved, the Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry made the following requests to private financial institutions:

(i)    Thoroughly offer cash flow support to businesses by promptly and adequately supplying funds under the effectively interest-free and unsecured loan program.

(ii)   When providing loans, promote one-stop procedures at financial institutions to integrate and accelerate various procedures in consideration of the convenience for borrowers.

(iii)  For businesses in urgent need of funds, actively provide loans (not limited to the new loan program), as well as bridge loans for funds that are necessary until various benefits are actually paid.

Accordingly, financial institutions are requested to open their branches during the Golden Week holidays, from May 2 to 6, and respond to consultations from businesses.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also requested the Japan Finance Corporation, Okinawa Development Finance Corporation, Shoko Chukin Bank, and Credit Guarantee Corporations to make efforts for simplification and acceleration of loan applications, while utilizing IT and mails from the perspective of preventing infection, and to respond to businesses' consultations and process applications during the Golden Week holidays, such as opening branches as necessary.

In order to thoroughly offer cash flow support to businesses, further cooperation among private financial institutions, Credit Guarantee Corporations, government financial institutions such as the Japan Finance Corporation and Shoko Chukin Bank, local governments and other related parties is indispensable. Relevant ministries and agencies will also cooperatively continue their utmost efforts for facilitating cash flow support for companies.

The supplementary budget proposal allocates a sufficient amount for loans and guarantees for the effectively interest-free and unsecured loan program with the aim of proactively supporting for businesses. Once the supplementary budget is approved, please utilize the new loan program as necessary.

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