Govt.-affiliated banks to support smaller businesses in quake-hit areas

Financial institutions in Japan will provide funding to small and medium sized businesses affected by a powerful earthquake that struck the country's central region on New Year's Day.

The government-affiliated Japan Finance Corporation and the Shoko Chukin Bank will lead the relief effort. They're offering up to about one million dollars for quake recovery efforts, separately from regular loans.

Credit Guarantee corporations will fully guarantee repayment of at most about 2 million dollars for smaller businesses tapping relief funds.

Those institutions will offer consultation services to companies that need to take out new loans or extend repayment periods.

Small and medium-sized businesses in Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures can take advantage of these measures, if their municipalities are eligible for disaster relief.