Japan government announces new measures to ease inflation pain

A Japanese government task force has announced new measures to help businesses and households that are struggling with inflation.

The measures include a cash handout of 50,000 yen, or about 350 dollars, to every household that's exempt from paying resident tax. The money is intended to offset soaring energy and food prices.

The government says it will also keep subsidizing oil wholesalers until the end of the year to rein in gasoline and fuel prices.

And it plans to keep the price of the imported wheat it sells to flour milling companies at the current level beyond next month.

A special grant of about 4 billion dollars will go to regional authorities so they can support their communities in ways they see fit.

The additional measures, combined with coronavirus-related initiatives, will drain more than 20 billion dollars from reserve funds in the current fiscal year's budget.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says the government will continue to take bold action to support the public, and he instructed ministers to compile new economic measures by this fall.