Coronavirus: Delhi and Tokyo extend restrictions. The two economies struggle
120 million jobs lost in India in April, and the numbers of the infection are increasing. Japan is in recession, but maintains a state of emergency in Tokyo and Osaka, the most productive areas of the country. Abe promises a new economic stimulus.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - India has extended its "lockdown" for coronavirus until May 31 and Japan is maintaining the state of emergency in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo and Osaka, the most productive in the country. The two governments are trying to contain the contagions, but the restrictive measures are having a strongly negative impact on their respective economies.
Coronavirus cases continue to grow in India. To date there are almost 91 thousand cases and about 2900 deaths. Delhi imposed lockdown on March 24, a decision that led to the loss of 120 million jobs in April.
On May 12, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a $ 266 billion economic plan to restart the economy, especially through support for small and medium-sized businesses.
For some observers, the intervention is not ambitious enough, because it does not provide for transfers of money to the poorest segment of the population, which has 130 million people. Among them are internal migrants who have lost their jobs in the past two months. Thousands of them are still on their way to return to their home countries, forced to walk 1000 km before reaching their families.
The economic situation in Japan is no better than in India. The country is technically in recession. In the first three months of the year, the economy had a 3.4% decrease on an annual basis. It is the second consecutive quarter with negative growth: in the period October-December last year it had recorded a -6.4%. Analysts' forecasts for the second quarter of 2020 are also darker (-22%).
Japanese authorities have canceled the state of emergency in 39 of the 47 national prefectures. The contagion does not stop in the country, which records over 16 thousand cases and 740 victims. To deal with the crisis, the Shinzo Abe executive launched a stimulus of over $ 1,000 billion in April, and the prime minister promised a second economic intervention in late May.