Although everyone is looking forward to getting their “free money”:http://www.mutantfrog.com/2009/03/06/foreigners-of-japan-get-your-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.