Japan drafts growth strategy for coronavirus-hit economy
Kyodo -- Jul 04
The Japanese government on Friday unveiled a draft growth strategy that promotes cashless payments and diverse workstyles, responding to the needs of the post-coronavirus era.

One pillar of the strategy is to cut long-fixed interbank transfer fees, seen as a bottleneck for businesses to use cashless transactions.

Interbank transfer fees have not changed for four decades in Japan, according to the government. Reduced fees between banks would translate into lower costs for businesses that use cashless settlements.

The government has used a point-based rebate system to encourage consumers to use cashless payments, partly to mitigate the negative impact of a consumption tax hike from 8 percent to 10 percent last October before the coronavirus crisis deepened.

"We will take appropriate steps swiftly," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a meeting of a government panel tasked with drawing up the strategy. After details are worked out, the draft plan is expected to be approved by the Cabinet in mid-July.

To help provide diverse workstyles such as teleworking and working multiple jobs, the government also plans to make it easier for companies to know what their employees do.

News source: Kyodo
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