Kishida OK’s ¥100,000 cash handouts for families

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Kishida speaks in House of Representatives on Monday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that municipalities will be allowed to provide ¥100,000 in benefits per child aged 18 or younger in a cash lump sum without conditions.

Speaking at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower Diet, Kishida said that municipalities “will not be inspected [on the handouts] under any new conditions.”

With many municipalities calling for lump sum cash handouts, the Kishida government made a policy change from the benefit program’s initial plan for handing out ¥50,000 of the ¥100,000 in the form of vouchers in principle.

“Depending on their situation, municipalities will be given the option to provide ¥100,000 in cash in a lump sum from as early as the end of this year,” Kishida said.

He also promised that the central government will provide subsidies afterward if municipalities decide to pay the benefits in cash in one go when a fiscal 2021 supplementary budget that includes funds for the handout program is still under deliberation in parliament.

Last month, the government, as part of its economic stimulus package, decided to provide ¥50,000 in cash as early as this month and ¥50,000 in vouchers toward next spring under the handout program.