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Donors hand envelopes with cash to evacuees in Ishinomaki

46 Comments

Several men, apparently associated with the West Japan Retailers' Association, appeared at several shelters in tsunami-ravaged Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture on Saturday and began handing out envelopes with cash to evacuees. The envelopes each contained approximately 30,000 yen. The men, who did not give their names, reportedly gave out tens of millions of yen in total.

The Ishinomaki mayor told a press conference on Monday: “We very much appreciate the feeling, but we wish they had donated the money to a charity, so that it could be distributed equally.”

© Compiled from news reports

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46 Comments
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"Upon examining the money, police discovered the bills were counterfeit."

Just kidding. A nice gesture but unless everybody in shelters got the 30000 yen, then some people unfairly missed out. Probably should have given it to a trusted charity instead.

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TEPCO president is the one that should have done that.

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Yeah, give to a charity for their cut. I applaud this effort.

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They probably made a head of household count before handing it out at each facility so as to not have anyone miss out.

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Best way to get the money to the people as quick as possible.

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Personally, I think they should have gone through the proper channels. Just handing out cash without any documents / receipts / etc... does not make much sense for an organization.

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Agree with Kronos.

There are proper channels to follow, said that there are many people wanting to help right now but pls follow the proper channels.

Don't just go off half-cocked trying to do good.

Right now I think the police has the right to confiscate that money to verify the donors and where the money comes from, etc.

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yakuza?

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Everyone has missed the obvious.

What is someone in a shelter going to do with 30000 yen? Go buy some dining room chairs? It is too little to pay deposits on an apartment, so what good is it?

The worst thing about this is that they can't do anything with it anyway. It is no help at all. There are usually no stores nearby, and if there were, what would they buy? No vending machines, and none will take these bills anyway. NO ATMs, no cash cards. The ONLY thing it does is breed envy.

I cannot think of a single thing this will buy them that they cannot get for free. This whole thing is much more complicated than money in an envelope.

At best, it is well intended stupidity or performance art. At worst, it is a malicious prank.

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how many of the "proper channels" have actually gave cash money to even one of this disaster's victims yet? anyone? nobody? crickets

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RoninGaijin.

I would guess those people got way bigger problems now as they got no way to spend it as Klein2 said.

True they could take the Family to a restaurant that reopened close by. But how far do 30.000Yen go this day?

Granted good to have a bit of extra cash in the pocket.

Those guys need to get their claims filed, get access to their own money in bank-accounts, etc.

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when the charities give victims a bottle of water, a cup of soup, and some fresh linen that is all good and well, but it doesn't get them any closer to getting out of these gd shelters, it just gets them through another miserable day. if i am giving money to help, i would rather put it in someone's hand that can use it, rather than give it to an entity where it goes down a well and i am not quite sure where my money went or who if anybody it actually helped, or how.

"Right now I think the police has the right to confiscate that money to verify the donors and where the money comes from,"

really? omg really? people don't have the right to give to the needy anonymously? If i put 100円 in a beggars cup the police should be able to take it until they verify "who i am, and where the money comes from?" it is my money and i can give it to who i want. this is not a communist country.

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equals to about 60 bowls of Ramen.

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Klein2 - actually that's incorrect. You don't have to go very far inland from many of the affected areas to find life functioning fairly normally - kids are going to school, shops are open, combinis functioning as usual etc. Cash in hand will give some people who have almost nothing a little bit of independence and choice. The issue of "fairness" is more complicated though given that no shelter has received exactly the same help as the next one, I'm not sure if we should worry too much about it.

Zenny - don't be ridiculous. You're telling me the police ought to take money from a private citizen, that they received as a gift, because the name of the person who gave it to them is unknown? There is no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing by anyone, no matter how misguided you feel the donation is. The tax office might have something to say about it at some future point after the end of the tax year but beyond that it seems to me that it's nobody elses business.

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You know when Santa walks around downtown somewhere in Kansas City handing out cash to needy folks, any and all he meets no one says a thing or comments that he should go through the proper charity.

Point is, folks are too jaded now a days to see people who want to help for what they are. Good Samaritans, also if they had driven up with a truck and started off loading food and supplies to the same folks no one would have blinked an eye. There isnt enough information in the article to judge, but they did help some.

People can use pocket money. Stores are reopening, it's a nice feeling to have a little cash even if it's just to buy a can of beer.

Let the people help as they may, and in the future, ok maybe they should discuss it with the proper folks first, but rather would have them do the same thing again instead of having to go through the red tape and teeth sucking that would invariably happen.

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Proper channels? please... It is there own money and they can do whatever they want with it.

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Klein2 at 02:49 PM JST - 25th April

"Everyone has missed the obvious. What is someone in a shelter going to do with 30000 yen? Go buy some dining room chairs? It is too little to pay deposits on an apartment, so what good is it?" You obviously miss the point to. Something is better than nothing, they can buy food, clothes, use it for public transport or petrol (if they have a car). You whine that someone donated money you really have warped way of looking at things. Money is the most practical thing to give

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Roningajin and Adk99.

You are talking about a single donation by a private person.

This is supposedly a registered aid donation company that has NOt coordinated their efforts with the goverment and other groups and thus they and their money are open for investigation.

Never heard of a guy throwing money round only to be arrested for it?

In real life you just can't give/hand money to anyone.

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out to anyone

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actually yea...you can after you give it...it is up to them to pay the "gift tax" but yea...you can give gifts to ANYONE you wish.

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Is the government getting jelous that they cant take their cut of the money...let's help them wipe away their tears by taking back the hopes and small comfort of a few tsunami survivors. If I had the money to be throwing around, I would be tempted to do the same thing as them right now. And it may not be much, but the idea of having some cash of your own is a great feeling. (You don't see to many people aiming to be broke at the end of everyday)

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Zenny11 In real life you just can't give/hand money out to anyone.

Really? I've had people hand me money here in Japan PLENTY of times! The Japanese are famous for that. Over the course of my first few years here I had received a total of at least 350,000円 from a variety of my adult students for a variety of reasons...from: "You're going home for Christmas? Take your family out!"...to..."enjoy your trip." etc. No funny things going on, just kindness of people. Believe it or not...

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poollymook.

As I said that is to ONE person, not to many. To people read comments here or just post?

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Also does it happen in private or in public where anyone can see it.

Those differences matter. A shelter is hardly a private place.

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The bureaucrats are just annoyed that they could not take their cut and administrative costs off the top. Whilst they are still holding discussion meetings, these people took immediate action and gave it out. And of any complaints of unfairness, from past events with pensions and healthcare reform, the government and local administration do not exactly have a reputation for fairness themselves...

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According to another article I read about this, the men just gave that name randomly and the organization actually doesn't exist.

Odds are these guys are Yakuza. They are known for showing up to help out when people are in need.

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Way to go West Japan Retailers’ Association. TEPCO/J Govt take note, the evacuees can't go home for years maybe,time to transfer these people to humane living conditions,that cash was a good jesture

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Wow!... a couple of posters, both known as great supporters of the stste, have some real strange attitudes......"In real life you just can't give/hand money to anyone.".....

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@ Human Target, well then way to go Yakuza. The more yen the evacuees have, the better. Cause I think some of those safes the washed ashore could be some of theirs. Hopefully the contents of those safes will be returned to their rightful owner or their descendents..

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When going through "proper channels", what percent of donated money actually goes to disaster victims? The Red Cross, for example, must have TONS of overhead for all their employees, facility maintenance, advertising, etc.

Yaks or not, I applaud these people for their generosity!

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susano.

Nice barb. I am Not a supporter of any state. Fail there for you. But it is illegal(In any country) to just hand out large amounts of money to anyone. Like I said do your research. ;)

Of course open to proof to the contrary(with sources) by any poster here.

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Utrack at 04:04 Might I suggest you look at a map.

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Most likely it was money that could not be "laundered".

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What is someone in a shelter going to do with 30000 yen? Go buy some dining room chairs? It is too little to pay deposits on an apartment, so what good is it?

Bear in mind many of these people have been unable to work, have to care for their families - and have bills, loans etc to pay. With a few hundred thousand people, I don't think ALL creditors are kind enough to waive all debts.

Also, some of them want to go out occasionally to restaurants and cinemas to break the mind-numbing boredom of their present conditions. Every little bit helps - Bless these donors!

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"But it is illegal(In any country) to just hand out large amounts of money to anyone"

oh zenny do explain?

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888naff.

I would but we can't post links here. So we have to by a posters word and do our own research.

Unless some posters here are more equal than others?

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Zenny11,

"But it is illegal(In any country) to just hand out large amounts of money to anyone" actually its not and l have taken your advise and cannot find anywhere that says it is illegal. Provided the person handing out the cash can prove that its their money and was legally obtained there is nothing illegal about it at all.

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AdamB.

Agreed there but guys simply walking into shelters and handing out envelopes with cash? Don't sound like it was arranged with the authorities from the article.

This is what me and another poster meant about proper channels.

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The yakuza do things like this. Not that I would insinuate that the blokes involved were gangsters, mind you.

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Zenny11,

Yes you do have a point to some degree. But could you imagine if they did go through "proper channels". How many times in disasters do you hear x amount has been donated but of a % gets to the intended people the rest goes in admin fees, and other things. Unfortunately charities thrive off disasters and they do make money from it. If you want the money to get to the people give it to the people not a charity that banks it then hands it out later. This has been proven time and again sadly.

But that being said maybe it was something dodgy who knows

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AdamB.

Administration fees, etc depends on the charity and not the goverment that assigns the legal charity number and gives permission for the donations. Remember all those private people collecting donations and goods at stationa, etc those also got a legal charity number assigned.

Fully agree that most established charities make a killing from disasters, etc.

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"But it is illegal(In any country) to just hand out large amounts of money to anyone"

I'm sorry, but I find this hard to believe.

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Anyone know when the Relief Money Distribution Committee in Miyagi set to begin making initial payments of charitable donations ?

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Direct donation of cash to those in need is great ! Those who receive them are just very lucky ; but normally very few people can donate this way, like me I had to go through red cross.

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taj the article gives the location and said article states: tsunami-ravaged Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture

so, what is this map business

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oh, you mean cause Miyagi is right next to Fukushima maybe?

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