80% of local governments provide 100,000 yen in "full cash", while none has decided to use coupons; The Tokyo Shimbun surveyed 35 wards and cities in Tokyo, Kanagawara, Saitama and Chiba

2021.12.22 06:30

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio

According to a survey by the Tokyo Shimbun, out of 35 wards and cities in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba Prefectures, 31 will provide 100,000 yen in "full cash" to those aged 18 and younger. The other 4 wards and cities are "under consideration". The national government recommended both cash and coupons, but none has yet decided to use coupons.
Many wards and cities cited the need for simplification of administrative procedures and the large number of people who wish to receive cash.
Sakai Naoto, Mayor of Nakano Ward in Tokyo, commented, "Providing coupons is costly and time-consuming. Full cash handout is a great advantage for both the administration and the residents." An official of Chiba City said, "Combination with coupons requires administrative burden and manpower."

◆17 cities decide "lump sum", some are confused

However, even if the full amount is provided in cash, there are two options, "lump sum" and "split". Initially, the national government planned to distribute 50,000 yen in cash and 50,000 yen by coupons aiming for next spring. Then, on December 13, the government suddenly allowed an unconditional full cash handout by the end of the year.
In line with the government's policy change, 17 wards and cities have rushed to switch from splits to lump sum regarding handout to those aged 15 and younger, while 13 were not in time and remained splits. Shinagawa Ward is still under consideration.
An official of Nerima Ward, which provide 50,000 yen within this year and 50,000 yen at the beginning of next year, said, "We can't proceed this without the official policy of the national government. It seems to be the hardest thing to get the understanding of the citizens. "
Local governments that provide lump sum handout are also confused. Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture sent notices for 50,000 yen on December 8, but will resend to change to lump sum handout on December 22. "I wish the government had decided the policy a week earlier," said an official.
Saitama City hurriedly switched to lump sum handout in the morning of December 15 when it announced a related supplementary budget. The budget document submitted to the parliament still included the administrative expenses for the split handout. An official said, "Although we have been confused by the national government, it is good as a result that the government heard the voices of the people and local governments, and changed the policy."
Unlike children aged 15 and younger, who can take advantage of the children's allowance system, children aged 16-18 need to apply to local governments, and handouts will be made after the beginning of next year. However, in some wards and cities they do not need to apply if their younger brother or sister receives a child allowance.

◆Chuo, Hachioji, Yokosuka, Funabashi are "under consideration"

Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture, one of the four wards and cities that answered "under consideration, is considering providing coupons that can be used in the city. If there are few businesses that can handle it, it will provide full cash handout.
Chuo Ward in Tokyo says "all we can say is 'under consideration'", and Hachioji City is "considering coupons, but there are also requests for cash handout from citizens". An official of Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture explains "we are considering everything."

This article is composed using Google Translate customized exclusively for The Chunichi Shimbun. The translation may have limited accuracy.