Some local perspective on Aso’s ongoing “free money” debacle

Judging Aso's cash handout

Although everyone is looking forward to getting their “free money”: Prime Minister Aso’s 2-trillion-yen cash handout program remains unpopular. As we get closer to payday things look like they will be getting even worse as Aso has left the responsibility for distributing the handouts to resource-strapped municipal governments.

I spoke with a Nagoya city worker last week about the program. Japan’s third-largest city seems to be having problems organizing the cash handouts. With only 5 city workers assigned to organizing the approximately 2,236,000 kickbacks, payday isn’t apparently coming until June. The clamouring masses aren’t happy and the office responsible for payments apparently receives nearly two thousand telephone complaints a week, further tying up the staff. Yes, this is third-hand information. But simple _rumour_ of such incompetence isn’t doing wonders for the administration’s already dismal reputation.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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7 Responses to Some local perspective on Aso’s ongoing “free money” debacle

  1. Aceface says:

    Actually,Nagoya is fourth largest city in Japan after Tokyo,Yokohama and Osaka.
    And they are going to hire part timers to the tasks by June.

  2. Younghusband says:

    Third largest incorporated city.

    I hope they do hire some part-timers. I want my money!

  3. Adamu says:

    I am still waiting on my free money in Adachi-ku, though I know people in Nakano-ku have received notices.

  4. I’d have to agree with Roy Berman at MF. This seems a rather paltry effort at stimulating the economy.
    That aside, any big plans for the windfall?

  5. Durf says:

    I’ve seen quite a bit of TV coverage of the handouts from the perspective of local government clerks in charge of the actual process. Not looking good for the poor folks doing the grunt work for the LDP/Komeito vote-buying project.

  6. Aceface says:

    Munro Ferguson:
    But it worked in Taiwan!

    Nakano-ward has better legistrative service than the other richer wards like Suginami or Setagaya.So I’m not surprised.

    According to the report I read on Taiwan,where they had same sort cash hand-out program,it had certain effect in lifting economy,however,I’m skeptic just like others whether it would be effective in Japan also.

  7. M-Bone says:

    > Not looking good for the poor folks doing the grunt work for the LDP/Komeito vote-buying project.

    City Hall grunts that I know are just glad that they have stable jobs.