The western Japan prefecture may take two more years to recuperate from the damage of the novel coronavirus crisis. The forecast was rendered by Tetsuya Kan, head of a major regional bank in Osaka, as the pandemic ransacked the city’s once upbeat tourism and retail sectors.
“The fate of the region’s economy depends on how long the pandemic will persist, and whether the restaurants and hotels can bounce back,” said Kan, president of Kansai Mirai Bank, the fourth-biggest lender in Osaka prefecture.
Osaka’s shopping centers were left deserted after Japan restricted overseas visitors from entering the city. This has taken a toll on hotels, restaurants, and drug stores. Moreover, it also affected regional banks like Kansai Mirai as ultra-low interest rates and collapsing domestic market press.
Osaka had seen its total number of overseas tourists dropping to 1,700. It dropped 99.9% from a year earlier and way smaller than the 12 million record monitored in 2019.