Japan to subsidize alcohol disinfectant makers

NHK -- Mar 12
The Japanese government has decided to provide subsidies to help companies boost production of sterilizing alcohol, which is in short supply amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Operators of nursing care facilities across Japan are now facing a severe shortage of alcohol for disinfection. Demand has grown sharply with the spread of the virus.

To address the problem, the Japanese government will make subsidies available to manufacturers investing to expand their production capacity.

The government says it will bear two-thirds of the costs for relatively large-sized companies, and three-quarters for small- and medium-sized firms. The subsidies will be capped at 30 million yen, or about 286,000 dollars, per production line.

The industry ministry says output of sterilizing alcohol in February was 80 percent higher than a year earlier. But the supply is still not enough to meet surging demand.

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