TOKYO — Japan’s government will inject public money into banks in earthquake-stricken areas to support lending as companies rebuild, a newspaper said Sunday, in the latest initiative to help the economy recover from the March 11 quake and tsunami.
The government money will help the region’s 72 banks meet an expected surge in demand for credit following the magnitude-9.0 quake, the business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. It cited no sources.
The report gave no details of how much money might be provided. But it said more than 11 trillion yen ($135 billion) is still available under a law on emergency support to banks passed after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The government has yet to give an estimate of recovery costs. Goldman Sachs said earlier this week it estimated quake damage at $200 billion.
Tokyo also is working on plans to provide low-interest loans of up to 10 trillion yen ($122 billion) to help companies recover from quake damage, according to an earlier news report.
The quake damaged factories belonging to major automakers including Nissan Motor Co. and hundreds of smaller manufacturers. Power cuts due to the shutdown of 11 of Japan’s 54 nuclear power plants also have disrupted production.
On Friday, the Group of Seven major industrialized nations agreed to support Japan with a joint intervention in currency markets after the yen surged against the dollar, threatening Japanese exports. After that announcement, the Japanese currency backed away from Thursday’s all-time high against the dollar.
Also last week, the Japanese central bank tried to calm money markets by injecting 38 trillion yen ($470 billion) in emergency cash on top of its regular funding activities.