Japan plans $1,900 in coronavirus emergency aid for students

TOKYO — Japan’s government has proposed paying as much as 200,000 yen ($1,870) to students at risk of being unable to afford tuition because of financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Students whose income from part-time work has fallen by half or more will be eligible for a 100,000 yen payment. Those from households earning too little to pay local income tax can receive another 100,000 yen.

The aid will be available to students enrolled at universities, graduate schools, junior colleges and Japanese language schools. This includes foreign students, many of whom count on earnings from now-vanishing jobs to pay their way.

The government, which informed ruling-party and opposition lawmakers of the plan Thursday, expects to provide these payments to around 400,000 students. The measure will be funded with 50 billion yen from the extra fiscal 2020 budget passed last month to finance the coronavirus stimulus package.

Officials and lawmakers also have considered including some form of tuition assistance in a planned second supplementary budget.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday proposed paying up to 200,000 yen to cash-strapped students. A bill submitted to parliament Monday by opposition parties includes up to 200,000 yen in support to about 1 million students.

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