Japan’s Aso asks banks to help as firms’ funding needs rise at year-end

Japan’s Aso asks banks to help as firms’ funding needs rise at year-end

© Reuters. Japan’s newly-appointed Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks at a news conference in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Monday urged public and private financial institutions to help ensure smooth corporate financing as funding needs rise towards the year-end.

The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly boosted demand for funds in the services sector such as travel and food industries. The capital, Tokyo, has urged shorter working hours for bars and restaurants for the next few weeks to help stem the spread of coronavirus amid a surge in new cases.

“I would like (banks) to lend a sympathetic ear to businesses,” Aso said at a meeting with banking industry representatives, noting that some companies continued to struggle with financing.

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