Wed, 23 Jun 2021

TOKYO, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday approved the use of 2.2 billion yen (20.48 million U.S. dollars) in reserve funds for the current fiscal year to provide emergency support for areas pummeled by torrential rains recently.

According to government officials, the emergency funds will be allocated to help hard-hit small businesses recover in Kyushu region in Japan's southwest, including deluge-hit Kumamoto Prefecture where around 60 people lost their lives.

Agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries also adversely affected by extensive flooding and multiple landslides triggered by the downpours, will also be supported by the government's outlay agreed Tuesday.

In terms of emergency measures to be funded immediately, these will include those to secure the provision of water, food and temporary shelter, Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso said.

"The money will be used to deliver supplies essential to people's lives and livelihoods such as water, food and emergency cardboard beds to temporary shelters, and face masks, without waiting for local municipalities to request such help," Aso told a press briefing after the Cabinet approved the use of the funds.

The Cabinet has designated the torrential rains as a special natural disaster allowing for some administrative procedures to be expedited or for extensions to be given amid overall efforts to bolster the recovery process.

The designation was also issued following extensive flooding in western Japan in 2018 and Typhoon Hagibis which wreaked havoc last year.

With the total death toll from the disaster surpassing 70 people as of Tuesday, the government's relief measures will support 61 municipalities in hard-hit Kumamoto as well as five other prefectures where areas have been left reeling in the wake of the downpours.

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