Japan’s restaurants facing new financial crunch as Covid-19 “zero-zero” loans come due

The interior of a sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Restaurant operators across Japan, many still working to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, are now facing new financial difficulties as the country’s zero-zero loans come due. 

Japan’s zero-zero loans were loans the government handed out during the pandemic to prevent mass closures of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The purpose of the zero-zero loans, most of which came with zero interest and zero guaranteed fees attached, was to help businesses across the country pay their rent and avoid laying off staff members amid Covid restrictions the government implemented that made it extremely difficult to conduct business.

Small businesses that suffered a drop in sales of at least ... 

Photo courtesy of bluehand/Shutterstock

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