Hiroshima City may get anti-virus financial aid

Japan's minister in charge of the coronavirus response has indicated that the government will move to provide financial assistance to the city of Hiroshima to help it turn around the serious situation there.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi was speaking at a news conference on Thursday.

He said he talked with Hiroshima prefectural officials and confirmed the severity of the city's infection situation, with hospital beds filling up fast.

He said the government will consider designating the city a zone subject to the same anti-infection measures as those currently in place under the state of emergency.

Such measures include asking dining establishments to close by 8 p.m., requesting businesses to help reduce the number of commuters by 70 percent through telework, urging people to refrain from nonessential outings, and limiting the number of spectators at live events.

If designated, the city will receive government aid to increase subsidies for restaurants and bars that agree to shorten business hours as requested.

Each dining establishment would be eligible to a subsidy of 60,000 yen, or roughly 580 dollars, per day. That would be equivalent to the amount being given to businesses in Tokyo and 10 prefectures currently covered by the state-of-emergency declaration.