Gov't to dispose of unused Abenomasks amid growing costs


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Waste a freaking waste of money. PM Kishida should have made Abe and those responsible for this whole fiasco cover the cost with their salary.

30 ( +33 / -3 )

Get Abe wear them for the rest of his life.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

The Abe government's well-intended cloth mask distribution apparently backfired due to delivery delays and the discovery of defective ones.

This is an unusually generous way of framing it. It wasn’t “well intentioned” nor was it well planned, well thought out or well advised. And saying it backfired later on is misleading since it incorrectly implies the plan would have worked but for these unfortunate events completely outside Abe’s control. No, deliveries weren’t delayed, the plan from day 1 envisaged them being delivered far too late for to be of use. And there weren’t just a few defective ones that were discovered, all 287 million of them were defectively designed to be too small to be of any use, which is why they are being thrown out now.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Who takes responsibility for all that money loss of public money ?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Who takes responsibility for all that money loss of public money ?

Japanese people themselves, by electing the same clowns back in positions just a few weeks ago. Cheated out of half a billion dollars and the public simply bends over again and again. Own fault, if you're asking me.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

So they destroy what were useless masks anyway . Good lord waist follows waist right back to…no not Abe he is too honest to be involved in any corruption.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The Abe government's well-intended cloth mask distribution

A very disputable claim and par for the course for Kyodo. What about the new reports of contractors tied to Abe and LDP cronies almost two years ago? And of using lowest bid Chinese manufacturers as a way to maximize profits, leading to numerous defects in a simple cloth mask? Is investigating a supply chain and stakeholders too much for the newshounds at Kyodo?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Should be an investigation on this whole fiasco.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Couldn’t they all be incinerated to produce electricity?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

That is what dear leader left us and that’s his legacy.

The Abenomask which are a statement of how not to use taxpayers money.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Dang you'd think there is a money tree outside the Diet building. Absolutely no fiscal responsibility here. Just shut up and pay your taxes peasants.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

to dispose…….

as in they still haven’t done anything yet? And they’re still mulling over it?

useless can’t even begin to describe this government.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The health ministry has found about 11 million cloth masks, or about 15 percent of those checked, defective, costing around 2.1 billion yen just for the inspections.

Despite all the hawkish language towards China, I would not be surprised if the Abe connected contractors outsourced to a manufacturer using Xinjiang slave labor cotton.

The Japanese media will not follow the money trail even though the LDP just put forward taxpayer money for an initiative to ensure human rights in the global supply chain. as long as it does not endanger LDP/Japan Inc. interests.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Who takes responsibility for all that money loss of public money ?

You and me... Well, we don't take the responsibility but do in fact will pay more taxes to cover all that fiasco.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The health ministry has found about 11 million cloth masks, or about 15 percent of those checked, defective, costing around 2.1 billion yen just for the inspections.

Don't waste public money for it. Charge inspection costs and compensations from commissioned companies who handled Abenomasks.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

useless can’t even begin to describe this government.


4 ( +9 / -5 )

Why not distribute them to the homeless, orphans, jobless people? Think Mr Kishida, think !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Abe government's well-intended cloth mask distribution apparently backfired due to delivery delays and the discovery of defective ones.

Has Kyodo already opened the Champagne or are they just on Acid???

Abenomask was never popular and considered as "stupid" (to remain polite) by the population from day 1 onwards. As a measure it was too less, too expensive and as usage goes, too small. Taiwan for example had the government take control of all the stocks and production facilities and manage the hand-outs to the population, showing what needed to be done. Japan on the other hand still needed a few months to implement a law to prevent scalping on the internet, law that actually got one LDP member called out doing exactly that! Let's not even mention the suspicions that were aplenty that a few "friends" made money out of juicy manufacturing contracts when the government refused to produce a list of the manufacturers and when they finally did, it came out that one or more (shady) manufacturers had never been in the mask-production business to start with raising question about bid-rigging and cronyism!

Add to this that as the first started to be distributed it was noticed that they were tained/contaminated, hence useless and this became the last nail in that nonsense's coffin! My 2 masks did both come tained. Not that I had any intention or need, as I already bought some (at an expensive price from...China) for myself as well as did hand out some (for free!) to people in need I knew.

At my end, Abe is the only person (on TV or elsewhere) that I ever saw wearing any of these facial bandaids.

After the Abenomask disappeared from view, they were stocked and as per (another) Kyodo article from a few days ago they tried to get local authorities interested in them (at what point in time is unknown as this was never made public, it was just a very "discreet" idea to deal with that junk). Problem, nobody wanted them which is the reason why they are still piling up.

As per an article from Asahi, it seems that at the current rate of disposal (I guess to authorities who request them), it would take up to 33 years to dispose of the whole stock...That's how popular these face-toys are!

As of today, Abenomask did cost taxpayers:

.26 billion JPY to produce, out of which 11.5 bio JPY worth of inventory never even got distributed

.600 mio JPY to store the unwanted 11.5 bio worth of inventory

.2.1 bio JPY to inspect the 11.5 bio inventory on whether they were ok to be further distributed

(no figures as of now on the costs of final disposal/destruction which is again likely to be staggering)

Total (as we know of): close to 29 billion JPY for something that was not going to solve the problem, something nobody wanted and ultimately something that nobody could use...


The best way of dealing with what is essentially 11.5 bio JPY worth of garbage would be to invoice Abe personally or invoice the LDP and ask them to pay out of their party funds. The public has paid enough on this nonsense.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

story is simple.

there was request from government for face masks.

there was lucky producer with right contacts linked to government boss.

there were funds ready to be spent.

than handshakes.

than low quality product have appeared and government have started to post there low quality masks to own citizens.

someone made a fortune and fat profit.

many of these products were completely useless and even hard supporter of LDP have found out that this is great waste of taxpayers money.

anyway since we live in Japan no one is held responsible for misuing of these funds,no one media outlets giving these not so pleasant questions to LDP guys and yes-situation is like nothing have happened at all.

business as usual.just give masks to someone-anyone.just to put them away and make people to forget about this "business" with their money.

Shinzo can play with cat at home,drink tea and dont need to worry that he need give back to gov even single penny.

its very pathetic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

By the way, the revisionist ‘history’ of Abe’s legacies is currently ‘in the works’: The majority of reference to previous stories of Abenomasks have all been but deleted from this media. (Try “mask shortages’ in the search tab above.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A litany of failures here.

The one that bothers me most is the extreme low quality of the masks. 15% of them rejected. The public should not be paying for them. That's before we even get into the issues of the design, the size, and the delivery timing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ cricky

Its waste not waist btw

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder who's families and friends pockets the money ended up in. I really wish foreign media had more interest in Japan, they could have so much fun investigating this kindergarten level corruption, everything would be out in the open in like a week. Not that Japanese would care anyway though.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

as in they still haven’t done anything yet?

They're Abe masks, after all. Nobody dares to dispose of them, as that would be an affront.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Who takes responsibility for all that money loss of public money ?

Certainly not Abe and the cronies who benefited from manufacturing ( outsourcing ) these by the look of it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And some people think we ought have the government own MORE means of production….

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Your tax money at work. Textbook example for what happens when you give capital allocation to bureaucrats instead of entrepreneurs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The masks shortages were Feb 2020 @Reckless 9:23am and silly ‘alternatives’ were suggested like making masks from paper kitchen ‘tishu’ to recycling bras: - -

*- @Reckless 9:23am: “All I can say is at the time there was a mask shortage. Couldn’t buy them anywhere for a few weeks. I think it was April 2020.*

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The failed Abe-no-mask rollout & mailout started Apr 17, 2020: -
1 ( +2 / -1 )

They should recycle them or turn them into toilet paper in order to be prepared for the next pandemic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just distribute them to JR stations, subway stations and other public transit areas. Leave them out for the public to just take one as needed. Someone will get greedy, take the whole lot and the problem will no longer be the governments.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fu fu fu, if only people were more observant as you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As observant

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why don’t they just distribute to public who can not afford to buy ? They can just put these masks at convi store and allow people to take for free .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh man you really couldn’t make it up. Forst they buy crap masks, than the fxxck up the distribution, after that massive storage costs and now they’ll dispose of it. Honestly, why does the world think Japan is such an efficient country?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the intended purpose (of the cloth masks) has been achieved," 

that purpose being to appear to be addressing the serious issue of a pandemic buying doing the lamest thing possible. In the country of daily mask wearing, regardless of pandemics, the ‘leader’ offers up this travesty, this paragon of ineptitude. Then we pay for the storage of this white elephant. Now we’re paying for the disposal of it. All this does is confirm the fact that politicians are the lowest elements, the least capable, the worst representatives of our society.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some are suggesting to have them made available (for free) at train stations and convenience stores.

Conveniently forgetting for 2 minutes that already now nobody wants these stupid things which is the reason why 81 Mio of them piled up and ended up in storage:

A quick Google search indicates that there over the whole country are 55,924 convenience stores as of June 2021 and 9,909 train stations as of January 2017.

. convenience stores: that is 81 Mio / 55,924 = 1,448 units per konbini

.train stations: that is 81 Mio / 9,909 = 8,174 units per train station

.if combined: 81 Mio / (55,924 + 9,909) = 1,230 units per station / konbini

One has to consider that:

.both train stations and konbini are spread all of the country and that the cost to transport them there will be staggering

.neither stations nor konbinis have the rack space for this junk, adding to that the question as to why konbini would offer for free shoddy products which actually compete with their own products?

The most efficient way to get rid of this garbage is to:

.pack as many of the masks in as few 18-wheelers as possible

.transport them in as few round-trips as possible to the closest garbage incinerator facility and

.snuff this mountain of junk out of existence

Even for charity purposes, the masks are too small and possibly contaminated by god-knows-what (no news outlet ever touched upon that question: what exactly did contaminate the masks and how). Would any family, even needy ones, want to put an Abenomask on their child's face? Frankly, I don't think so...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It wasn’t “well intentioned”

The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

I have no doubt that some of Abe’s buddies made out like bandits, but the man like all the LDP nutters was a central planner. They do I believe have good intentions. But the results are what their policies must be judged by, not the intentions. Judging by the results alone provides ample grounds for condemnation.

Not unique to Japan at all, just one example:

No subsidies. Ever.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Politik kills you are 100 % spot on!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All I can say is at the time there was a mask shortage.

That’s right, there was a shortage.

But a shortage is no excuse for central government to get into the business of mask producing and distribution.

Free markets respond to shortages naturally, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Abe and co should have known better, but they are central planners, and the rest of the disaster is news and history.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another blow to Abe!

Kishida is cleaning house.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Some people here forgot quickly. In the early days of the pandemic, there

was some confusion and panic buying across the world, Japan included. Store shelves were empty of necessities and masks and sanitizers and toilet paper… Abenomask, as bad as it may seem, was one measure to deal with the situation. Remember not everyone was as lucky as some of us here to have enough supplies in those days. So the mask might be something to help them before real help arrived. You might hated it but less fortunate people needed them. Don’t tell me you never bought anything in life that minutes later you regretted the decision. You might hate the mask but that might also help save some lives somewhere.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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