Tuesday, June 02, 2009

teigaku kyufukin

With the economy the way it is, the Japanese government decided to "pump their economy up".

The project is called teigaku kyufukin...

With 2.4 trillion yen (about US$20 billion), they decided to divvy it up and give everyone (including foreign residents)....12,000 yen (about US$120). If you are under the age of 18 or 65 or older you will receive an additional 8000 yen (about US$80).

Now while I will not refuse this gesture, I think they exaggerate how this money will help the economy.

Namely, the letter I received from our city office had me rolling my eyes..."The Japanese government will provide the benefits in order to support the people's life."


I mean, how can $120 "support someone's life"? Maybe for a meal or two, but definitely nothing long term.

Sadly, people who need the money the most will not receive it. Homeless people are not eligible unless they have a registered address, which excludes public parks.

Also victims of domestic violence are ineligible unless they can take their names off of their spouse's family registry (the forms to submit for this surplus are apparently only being sent to the head of the house.)

The media polled the public and most felt that the money should be used for other purposes such as medical care or the pension system. Most people that were interviewed on television put it into their savings...

Satoshi says he will put his into his savings...me, I'm gonna spend mine!

UPDATE: 6/19/09: I changed the yen into dollars and spent it in Hawaii.


KirkK said...

That victims of domestic violence won't get a share kinda makes me scratch my head.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Kind of (sad) funny how they decided to give out the money. What are you going to spend it on?! (That would be me too--spending it!)

Anonymous said...

Hihi ^^. I think the purpose of giving citizens the money is not so much giving them money to spend so that they can survive, but more of an easy monetary policy. This is when the central bank increases money supply so that there is more money flowing around in the economy. FOr this to work effectively, people have to spend their money... which I guess isn't happening ^^". But you have the right approach!! Keke.
Oh, that's horrible! Is domestic violence common in Japan? I've heard about it in this drama I was watching... Last Friends? I thought it was just a part of the plot...


K and S said...

It is sad Kirkk, most DV victims cannot take their names off the family registry without disclosing their whereabouts.

Not sure yet, Deb, but I took the $$ out today :)

Very common in Japan Anon, that along with child abuse, prostitution, drug trafficking...

Take care everyone.

A said...

Hello Ms. Kat! Spent mine already..hehe, for a slinky Yoshida kaban. But yep, it sucks that people who needs it the most are not eligible. A temp staff in our office is estranged from her husband and her 2 children lives with her. But since they are not on speaking terms - all the money went to her husband. Crappy no?

K and S said...

That is totally crappy A, but whoo hoo on your new bag :)

Take care.

Rowena said...

I'd say that by spending it, at least you're doing your part in fueling the economy. I would do the same. Watchu buying?

Unknown said...

12,000yen is kind of a really small amount spread amongst the recipients. There should have been more of a benefit to reward certain residents who tried to stimulate the economy some how. Like a rebate.

The economy is so crazy. At least 1 economist's view I heard the other day is that people here in USA were basically getting bored out of their minds being so conservative that he's observed a trend of rising spending in entertainment industries (movies, restaurants, etc.). This is a good sign.

K and S said...

I actually changed it to US$$ for my trip to Hawaii Rowena :)

I hope more people will get out there and spend, Rick :)

Take care you two.

Andrew Grimes said...

Yes, as in all countries in the world, there is a lot of domestic violence in Japan too. For anyone interested in the severe problems faced by victims of domestic violence in Japan check out Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley reports from Tokyo on the women who are speaking out about the problem.


Althoug the report is well done well researched it seems to imply at the end that nothing is going to chance for a long time about the problem of domestic violence in Japan.

Here, as in any other country in the world historically, there has been domestic violence in all types of societies, not in the least of course in societies and cultures that have taken a sexist ('paternalistic') view that women were not as equal as men and could be beaten and suffer abuse at the hands of their husbands.

Now, thanks to the work of volunteer women's groups and activist lawyers in Japan who have worked hard against this problem of violence against women and children in their homes, the Japanese government enacted the Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims in 2001. This was the first official recognition by Japanese politicians and law makers in Japanese history that domestic violence is in fact a crime. As a first step it was an important recognition of the widespread problem of spousal violence against women in Japanese homes throughout Japan. However there was considerable criticism that the low financial fines on Japanese husbands who attack their wives and the limit of only 1 month long restraining orders on men who abused their wives and children did not go far enough to provide Japanese women with a credible degree of legal protection and safety from further violent attacks. The law was revised to some extent in 2004 but still met with criticism as not going far enough to protect the victims of domestic and also for not focusing on the men who are being violent toward their wives and children:


Amendments to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act were passed and became law in July 2007 but did not receive so much attention in the media as would have been desirable:


However more and more Japanese women are taking action in Japan and, like the women featured in the video above, are no longer to suffer without protest former generations have had to do without any effective legal protection. The following links are to articles on domestic violence and National Police Agency reports that have appeared in the media this year that show that modern Japanese women in 21st century Japan are standing up against violent husbands and using the existing laws to protect themselves and their children:



These brave women need and deserve stronger and even more effective legal protection for themselves and the children they are trying to protect from their own fathers hands. There needs also to be considerable public and national political will focused on providing Japanese wives and partners with safe emergency residences and legally protected abuse shelters. I think it is also of vital importance that serious decisions to provide and implement official funding to ensure that refuge and protection to all women who are suffering domestic violence of all forms.

K and S said...

Thanks for such a detailed comment Andrew.

Take care.