Global economy faces most severe crisis since WWII – Japanese foreign minister


Japan has sounded the alarm over the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the global economy, saying that it could result in the worst crisis since the end of World War II.

“The impact on the international economy, as well as the Japanese economy, is extremely serious; the global economy is facing its most severe crisis since the war,” Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Monday, as cited by Kyodo News.

The comments come as the Japanese government is set to approve record stimulus of up to 117.1 trillion yen ($1.08 trillion) to battle the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis amid fears that the world’s third-largest economy could fall deeper into recession. The emergency plan, which comes less than two weeks after another package was unveiled, stipulates payments for every citizen instead of households. To finance the emergency package, the government is also set to approve a supplementary budget for fiscal 2020 worth about 25.69 trillion yen ($240 billion).

As of Monday, 10,797 people have been infected with the virus in Japan, including 236 fatalities. The number of cases around the globe surged to over 2.4 million, with over 166,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The outbreak has been wreaking havoc on the global economy and disrupting global supply chains. The pandemic was one of the key factors that led to the collapse of oil prices, as global demand plummeted. Multiple international agencies have already warned that the health crisis will plunge some countries into recession. The downturn could end up having “no parallel in the recent past,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned earlier this month, also calling the crisis the most challenging since World War II.