Racing-boat drivers to return COVID-19 subsidies

A foundation that organizes motor-boat races in Japan says it has ordered more than 200 racing-boat drivers to return coronavirus-related subsidies to the central government.

The Foundation of Japan Motor Boat Racing Association on Tuesday announced that it issued the order following a survey of 1,574 drivers. The foundation says it discovered that 211 of them had received subsidies without properly understanding whom the financial support was intended for.

It says that some drivers applied for subsidies on the grounds that they were adversely affected by race cancellations amid the pandemic.

The body says it has called on drivers not to apply for subsidies, as it has extended help in such ways as allowing them to take part in other races.

The foundation says it wants to apologize to all of those who support boat racing.

The Japan Racing Association, which holds horse races, announced earlier that about 160 jockeys had received a total of roughly 1.7 million dollars in subsidies based on what the JRA sees as an inappropriate understanding of the government system.