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Japanese children may soon have smiles on their faces and money in their pockets. As part of covid-19-related stimulus package, Japan's government is planning to give ¥100,000 ($880) to all children under age of 19. Around 20 million children, from newborns to 18-year-olds, will receive one-time payment. The initiative is part of election pledge from Japan's newly-elected Prime Minister. During campaigning, he vowed to help "people in need," such as part-time workers and families with small children. Officials say money will be given regardless of financial status of child's family. All children in any one family will receive cash. The plan is expected to cost around ¥2 trillion ($17.6 billion).

stimulus package is not without its critics. Many people have reservations about splurging so much money when Japan is burdened with so much debt. country's debt is currently more than twice size of its economy. Government sources argue cash is available for pandemic stimulus because of surplus of funds from fiscal 2020. Skeptics are questioning plan's logic. They said most recipients would not be going out to purchase high-cost items, dine in upmarket restaurants or take domestic holidays. It is predicted that much of money will end up in savings accounts. However, mother of three Yuki Ono welcomed plan. She said her children would benefit because they will buy new computers.

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