Japan surveying banks on preparedness for state of emergency

Japan surveying banks on preparedness for state of emergency

TOKYO – Japan is conducting a survey on how prepared financial institutions are in case the government declares a state of emergency to contain the coronavirus outbreak, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

The move comes amid speculation that a spike in new coronavirus cases could force the government to declare a state of emergency soon, which may lead to the first-ever lockdown of Tokyo.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) sent a survey on Monday to Japanese mega-banks, major life and non-life insurers seeking information on which operations they can continue in case a state of emergency is declared, the sources said.

The survey also asks financial institutions how such a declaration could disrupt their operations and the impact it could have on customers, the sources said on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak publicly.

The FSA is asking for replies to be made by Tuesday, the sources said.

Japan’s top government spokesman said on Monday there was no plan to declare a state of emergency from April, seeking to dispel speculation of a lockdown of Tokyo at the start of the country’s new fiscal year.


(Reporting by Takahiko Wada, writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by David Dolan and Louise Heavens)

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