TOKYO (Xinhua): The Japanese government is planning to offer financial aid to students here who are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Cabinet on Tuesday approving the programme.
The Cabinet agreed to offer students who are suffering financially up to 200,000 yen (US$1,900) in cash as a means of support, as many students have lost part-time jobs or seen their hours cut back amid business closures across the country resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Overseas students here hurt by the pandemic are also eligible for the cash handout, under the government's plan, which will be funded by an extra budget that was enacted late last month.
From the extra budget, 53 billion yen (about US$492 million) has been allocated to finance the programme and students at universities, graduate schools, junior colleges, vocational schools and Japanese language schools will be eligible for the support.
The students' schools will provide evidence to confirm their financial circumstances prior to the money being given out via the Japan Student Services Organization, an independent entity established to provide financial assistance to students.
The cash payout plan is in addition to, not instead of, the government's plan to offer all residents in Japan a one-off payment of 100,000 yen to help mitigate the downside effects on individuals and households brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan's education minister Koichi Hagiuda told a press conference on the plan to assist students financially that it was absolutely vital for students here to be able to continue their studies and not abandon their education.
"It's most important for students not to abandon continuing and advancing their education. We'd like to quickly provide assistance to all," Hagiuda said. - Xinhua
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