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Gov't considers stockpiling 'Abenomasks' after delivery plan draws criticism

21 Comments

The Japanese government is considering stockpiling most of the additional cloth masks it intended to deliver mainly to nursing care facilities to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus following criticism of the plan from opposition parties and some members of the public, a government source said.

Originally, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had aimed to start distribution of the 80 million cloth masks in late July.

Now the government is considering giving cloth masks only to nursing care facilities wishing for the products while stockpiling the remainder, the source said.

The government has already provided 130 million cloth masks to households nationwide.

Aside from distribution to the general public, it also planned to hand out 150 million cloth masks to nursing care facilities and pregnant women from March to September, including the 80 million masks in question.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will arrange the specific schedule for distributing cloth masks to nursing care facilities, the source said.

In a gathering of opposition parties on Thursday, a ministry official admitted that the government has given up on starting the distribution this month, telling participating lawmakers that the intended late-July delivery "will be reviewed from various perspectives."

Since the spread of the coronavirus earlier this year, the government has been providing citizens with washable cloth masks that have become known as "Abenomasks," a pun on Abe's signature "Abenomics" economic policy mix.

Some Japanese celebrities have also taken to Twitter earlier this week to condemn the distribution of additional masks, characterizing the government's actions as inefficient and wasteful.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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This is pathetic, the outcry was about their dubious quality, size and the fact they are not needed, cost tax payers way too much and that money was going to a friend of Abe. There was as usual no transperacy no public knowledge of the bidding process. So they will stockpile millions of useless mini masks. Send some to pregnant mums, nursing care homes both of whom will undoubtedly stockpile them untill throwing them out. And Abes freind makes a killing making substandard masks nobody wants. Corruption, and the public losses again.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Oh and who pays for this storage for stockpiles of mini masks? Tax payers again what a system the LDP run.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Even my local conbini now has huge supplies of face masks available for sale now. It should have been predictable that once manufacturers upped production to meet demand the need for Abenomasks, to the extent that there ever was one, would disappear.

And while they are busy debating what to do about one useless policy, the virus is spreading at an alarming rate because they aren't actually doing anything to contain it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Honestly, I'd like to get another round of that 100,000 yen per head per household. I could really use the money.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

If only we could swap two mini masks for their cost in cash, now that would be helpful.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

A sick joke.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Honestly, I'd like to get another round of that 100,000 yen per head per household. I could really use the money.

Exactly. The public is really hurting financially. The enormous cost of these redundant Abeno masks should be channelled to financial assistance to households. And, btw, I have never seen anyone except for Abe wearing one!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Stockpiling? I think he should reimburse all the tax payers of Japan ¥1,000 and burn the masks. .

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This mask thing is the stupidest thing I've seen. Nobody got any when they were in short supply, and they start showing up (many still have not received the first) when the stores got restocked and they are readily available. And the ones that did reach people were too small. Now they want to repeat this stupidity again? And after being told how stupid it is, they want to "store" them? Honestly, who, what committee, what named individuals came up with this whole idiotic money wasting scheme?

The United States is very likely to issue a second round of USD 1200 per person stimulus checks. How about another JY10000 Kyuufukin remittance??

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Why not make Abe pay for them out of his bonus? It would easily cover it!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wait up a minute, am I reading this right? The government made 280 million expensive, REUSABLE masks for a population of 125 million... Seems like money well spent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How about receiving even the first ¥100,000? Admittedly I applied a week or two after the form arrived but it's been over 2 months and still nothing in my bank account.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just stop it already with the masks...

How about receiving even the first ¥100,000? Admittedly I applied a week or two after the form arrived but it's been over 2 months and still nothing in my bank account.

Got mine really fast after applying (about a week). Where do you live? Either they are extremely slow, or you accidentally crossed the “do not wish to receive” bracket.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Would have been much better to setup a Factory making Face-masks within Japan - rather than having to import from China, where according to one video I saw, the manufacturers know the destination is Japan, so wipe their feet on some masks... not pleasant watching.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why not make Abe pay for them out of his bonus? It would easily cover it!

Right, what an ignorant statement! Those masks cost close to 350 MILLION and you think his bonus will cover it.

Sarcastic or otherwise, not even close. Pure ignorance!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Save them for the next pandemic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Got mine really fast after applying (about a week). Where do you live? Either they are extremely slow, or you accidentally crossed the “do not wish to receive” bracket.

Same here, I am willing to bet the same thing, wrong box checked!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yeah, I did received 10 Abemasks from shiyakusho today along with some papers about maternity harassment during corona season etc. I did sent that all back. They can figure out what to do with that ...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sell the useless things to trump.

Problem solved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So I wonder ifits Abes Friend who has the little prefabricated office in Ibaraki that got yet another contract for the masks...Anyhow looks like the ones we got were from a stockpile in WW2.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still waiting here for the 100000 yen - over 7 weeks now. And yes, I did fill in the form correctly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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