Japan falls into recession as Covid-19 takes toll

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(VOVWORLD) -Japan's economy contracted 0.9% from January to March, or at an annualized pace of 3.4%, the Cabinet Office said Monday, showing that the world's third-largest economy was in a technical recession even before a state of national emergency was declared because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

This is Japan’s first recession since 2015. 

The second consecutive quarterly contraction, while widely anticipated, was still a reminder to the government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo of the need for urgent action to prevent the pandemic from completely derailing his Abenomics economic revival program.

Prime Minister Abe's government has announced it will give cash handouts of 100,000 yen (930 USD) to each citizen, regardless of income, revising an earlier plan to give grants only to certain households. This is part of stimulus measures worth 1 trillion USD to protect jobs and support the health sector and households.