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83 million unused 'Abenomasks' remain in storage in Japan

109 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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109 Comments
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Sell them as the ‘Abenomasked monster’ costume this Halloween, the kids will lap it up.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Resell them as infant diapers.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Make Mr Abe pay for them. His idea against the advice of public health professionals...His responsibility.

41 ( +43 / -2 )

The man is just bereft of any practical ideas, these masks produced by his friend at tax payer cost…I’ve only seen him wear one, nobody else. I’ve only seen him get a Premium Friday. He is blatantly self serving and has no place anywhere near policy or tax payer funds.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

He insisted that the mask campaign was “appropriate at that time” when there was a shortage of surgical masks.

Oh no it wasn’t. Everyone knew this was a useless, corrupt fiasco the moment it was announced and Abe started getting ridiculed for his incompetence right away.

Lets review the facts at the time of the announcement:

a) While there was a shortage of masks in stores, the Abenomasks weren’t distributed until months after the announcement, by which time the supply chain issues had been worked out and better masks were available in stores. This was entirely predictable at the time of the announcement.

b) The masks themselves are completely useless due to their size.

c) Just the cost of sending them through the mail alone is more than the masks are worth.

d) At the time they were announced, they were presented as the banner policy response of the Abe government to the pandemic. The situation was looking dire at the time with rising cases, and the government held a closed door emergency meeting to formulate its response while the entire nation waited anxiously, hoping they would emerge with some bold and promising ideas.

And when they did emerge, their solution to the pandemic was a promise to spend billions of Yen mailing everyone some useless masks months from now. If I recall, the masks were being purchased from a buddy of Abe in his home prefecture to boot, Giving the whole thing the appearance of mainly serving to line that guy’s pockets. It was just the most shocking display of government incompetence imaginable and it shattered everyone’s sense of trust that there was someone in charge who actually knew what they were doing.

Abenomasks is what Abe deserves to be remembered for and I hope nobody forgets it.

32 ( +36 / -4 )

Abe is the gift that just keeps on giving.... smh

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Nobody will forget, just using the word “Abe” as a prefix denotes failure, corruption, incompetence. Thank god he is the guiding light for Nippon Kaigie, as bigger threat as they are now, would be far worse under a competent leader. So there are some positives.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

The leftovers currently in storage are worth 11.5 billion yen

Correction, the leftovers currently in storage cost 11.5 billion yen

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Tens of millions of unpopular cloth masks produced as an anti-coronavirus measure under former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remain unused and are being kept in a private storage facility at a cost of hundreds of millions of yen, an official acknowledged Wednesday.

Reply video of article to Abe's YouTube Channel to a video of him sipping tea:Thanks former PM Abe! Abenomics in action!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Shows you how bad Japanese politics really are as this was a case of corruption to the extreme or incompetence and yet he got away with it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Just send them to elementary schools for the kids. They will fit just fine.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Is this the same “Honest Abe?, that was going to make Japan beautiful again? Well that didn’t turn out as expected.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

60 million yen storage for 8 months between Aug. 2020-Mar. 2021 ! That's almost 6,000,000 dollars! To store some masks that nobody wants? And how long are these masks going to be stored for? Indefinitely?

Some words come to mind: graft, corruption, pork barrel, nepotism, ineptitude, rotten.....

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Just donate them then. Plenty countries out there that need masks. But not sure even if the other countries want this.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I haven’t received my Abenomasks yet! And Premium Friday seems a long long time ago.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Abe the masked incompetent…

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What a waste of money. Donate them to poor countries.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Just send them to elementary schools for the kids. They will fit just fine.

Fit isnt the problem. I gave my mask as did a number of other co-workers, to a woman we work with who has elementary school aged children, according to her, and other parents, those masks made it extremely difficult to breath for far too many kids and the schools STOPPED having them being given out, as it seems that they literally received hundreds of them from people in the community.

Those "masks" are a perfect example of the Abe legacy, coming up with something that sounds great but the reality ends up being totally useless! There are plenty of other examples of Abe and the LDP coming up with decent "sounding" ideas, but the reality ends up being more waste of taxpayers money.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Too small for adults should be just fine for elementary children. Let the schools store them and give them out as needed

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Who is benefiting from these moron masks? Storage fees are great, don't do anything and collect every month.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe modeled one, which barely covered his nose and mouth.

I will say that one benefit of this fiasco was the pure sense of joy I had watching Abe carrying out this months long charade where he wore an Abenomask that absolutely did not fit him comfortably but he had to pretend it was fine. He was obviously annoyed by it but couldn’t be seen wearing a regular one because he had expended so much of his political capital in this one project.

One almost never gets to see a politician literally having to wear his own failure on their face in public for months on end and it was a true delight to behold.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The LDP is not fit to run anything .

The mask fiasco will be Abe's legacy.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Great timing of the release of this story with the election on Sunday. Some have said this election is more about Abe than Kishida and it’ll be interesting to see if this story of a pathetic waste of time and money will influences voters. If Abe and Company walk away unscathed, it’ll surely empower him and his cronies to continue with their incompetence and lies and the Grift.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And this was done with the taxpayers money.

An absolute waste of time and resources.

But hey,no matter what they do the LDP will always get votes.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What a waste of money. Donate them to poor countries.

You do understand that people in poor countries are normal sized people too, right?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mine are still in the cupboard, unopened. A waste of resources and money. Absolutely useless.

And I wonder how many of Botchan's friends benefited financially out of this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What a waste of taxpayers' hard earned money. Who even approved the design of these Abemasks? They're laughably small. Why not distribute them to daycare centers, kindergartens and elementary schools as backup supply instead of hoarding them in one place, which is also wasting more taxpayer money?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Identify all government officials responsible for this fiasco.

Establish the cost per mask added to storage , handling, and transport costs.

Substitute a number of masks equivalent to the salary and pension of all involved until the surplus is depleted.

Only then can regular salaries resume.
5 ( +6 / -1 )

LOL! I once saw an oyaji wearing a mask one sometime on a train last year. He was an unusually large man considering the the average height and size of Japanese men. The Abe mask only covered his mouth. It was not large enough to cover both his nose and his mouth at the same time. I thought that he might have been wearing a child size "Abe no mask". It was really weird!

I am not sure what all the fuss is about. Abe and LDP have been subsidizing the whaling industry for decades storing unused whale meat in freezers!

I suggest like others to donate them to other countries that would benefit from having reusable masks instead of disposable ones if they fit properly of course. At least provide them to children!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

their storage cost 600 million yen between last August and March this year,

Are you freaking serious? It costs 600 million yen, ( USD 5 million ) to store these boxes in a couple of warehouses out in inaka for less than a year? ( surely could store them for free somewhere like a couple of empty JSDF hangars / warehouses ). Which LDP politicians relative or a bogus company owns these storage facilities? We,re all in the wrong business here it seems.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Millions of masks in storage unused, millions of our taxpayer money down the drain.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They need to stop throwing good money after bad.

The only useful thing is to incinerate them and turn them into electricity.

That money could've gone (and could go - storage fee) to so many good deeds.

The amount of money wasted in Japan is phenomenal even by EU standards.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abenomasks do make excellent diapers for chickens, if you live in a small apartment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

money well spent :D

I actually wear them all the time in work.....my wife's company got bags and bags of them, she brought some of them home and I've been using them ever since.....yes they are far too small and absolutely useless, but then so are most masks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

imagine if they'd bought bitcoin with that money instead of useless, unused masks.....maybe the national debt would've been wiped out ;)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The leftovers currently in storage are worth 11.5 billion yen 

83 million unused

Someone's friend got a contract and got paid. And that's all that matters. That the masks are sitting in a warehouse somewhere? しょうが無い。申し訳ありません. For such a failure, the originator of this idea would already be investigated by the financial police elsewhere abroad. And not get away with such a pitty "excuse" like "He insisted that the mask campaign was “appropriate at that time” when there was a shortage of surgical masks"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Then why come with the stupid rule 'two per household'? No wonder Japan is heading back to third world status.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Those 'tiny bugs' may have grown, multiplied and will now all just be waiting for someone to open the door...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Waste" is in eye of the beholder (aka we taxpayers) whereas the 11.5 billion yen with soaring storage costs to put the icing on the half-baked boondoggle begs the no brainer question: what's the hidden cost of the presumptive "sweet deal" of "Abenomasks" for all ("kick-backs" to Abe et al.)?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

¥11.5 billion on masks? ¥600million for storage? The level of incompetence that Japanese voters will accept knows no bounds-they’re going to be re-elected too!

Just burn the things left over after trying to give them out for free at train stations. The lack of common sense leadership in this country is criminal sometimes..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Send us a million of them. We'll make futon, jackets, insulate the house, too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I’ll take one! Still using my first one every day for 18 months.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

¥11.5 billion on masks? ¥600million for storage? The level of incompetence that Japanese voters will accept knows no bounds-they’re going to be re-elected too!

The problem is the system that is in place to "elect" the Prime Minister here. Abe really has nothing to worry about getting reelected, his little corner of his prefecture will always vote him in as long as he wants.

Make the PM position a direct election from the people and watch how quick things change!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No one wants these and storage costs money. Accountability issues mean these masks should be disposed of quickly, i.e.garbage burners.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Burn them already.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My wife was saying his morning we still have not gotten ours yet as lived in same house for 20 years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How in the world does the leftover cheaply made masks cost 11.8 billion yen? This is what happens when the government doesn't have to take any accountability for using our taxes for their wasteful projects.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The leftovers currently in storage are worth 11.5 billion yen.

Nonsense. They are worth zero, and costing 75 million yen a month to store.

That money could help a lot of Japan's invisible poor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Donated my masks to a local mask drive for elementary school kids.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ship them to Africa…

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Someone is earning good money storing these masks. Yet after the Olympics they throw away the unused PPE .

Crazy

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Never opened mine and it is now with my collection of historical artifacts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I will gladly accept a few thousand of them so I can create a monument of utter incompetence,graft and waste dedicated to Abe.

Strange how the media is fixated on Mako’s husband’s mother owing a measly ¥4,000,000 yet at the same time ignoring Abe’s outrageous squandering of public funds.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is what happens when there is no push back on bad ideas.

Certain palms were greased and pockets filled, and a culture of acquiescence did the rest.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Received mine, never used it even once.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They should build a pyre, light it, and then throw Abe on it.

At the very least, they should haul up someone from the LDP in front of the news and get them to explain this to the public before the election. Its okay for politicians to make mistakes, but they have to be accountable for them. That is the biggest problem here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The leftovers currently in storage are worth 11.5 billion yen and their storage cost 600 million yen between last August and March this year,

Store them at Mr. Abe's house. He has plenty of room.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They'd all fit in a matchbox anyway.

I could understand if they were made for ants, but even then, it would have been a snug fit.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I’ll take one! Still using my first one every day for 18 months.

Yeah right....that would be really hygienic and sanitary.

 They are worth zero, and costing 75 million yen a month to store.

You can build a big warehouse for the same amount it costs to store this junk for just 1 month.

If Japan had any independent journalists the shady deal to store them & parties involved in this ( for USD 700 thousand per month!!! ) should be all over the front pages right up to the election day. This is what J-taxpayer will be voting for if they go with LDP.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Framed mine along with the postcard advising us of the 3c’s.

itochu laughing to the bank

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sold ours on eBay for $20.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Decorate your Christmas tree with them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Assuming 2 at $10 each, zichi? : “Sold ‘ours’ on Ebay for $20.

Japan to give two masks each to 50 million households to fight virus: “Each household with a registered postal address will receive two washable cloth masks, Abe told”. -

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/02/national/japanese-government-distribute-two-masks-per-household-abe/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

$20 each.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ah, money well spent.

Peter Griffin
4 ( +5 / -1 )

Donate them to prisons and hand out to the homeless.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's what you get when you vote for the US-installed LDP.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If they have bugs and stains on them just incinerate them.

Don't use them .

What a moronic system.

Abe's not even in office anymore .

Blame him whilst continuing to pay for storage.

Burn them and hurry up about it .

Morons.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I got mine, so small...everyone looks at you like a idiot'

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did someone actually tried to boil them for sterilization ?

They could make good upper cushioning for bandage or the like. So send them to school infirmary and the like.

Also someone suggested to use them for futon&co : not a bad idea. I think it can be send to school to be used for handicraft to teach children the importance of recycling. Other place where they do handicraft could be good like association for people with intellectual deficiency : they could do bunch of pet cushion and send them to get found. And ask some people to make youtube tutorial video about how they were used in order for the government to get part of the money back from the view.

As other I am willing to accept a bunch, I will find a way to use it (I like the blanket idea. It is getting cold, should prove useful.)

I agree with having people fathering his mess accountable including from their money of this mess.

You should not suggest them bad idea like burning, disposing, sending our trash to poor countries ... they love to get rid of their mess and they will still find a way to have friend get money out of it. We can still get something out of these so called mask.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A crowning achievement

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Evem the man fled like a coward, I have to give him credit for really trying to upsell the mask by wearing it every time, even though it clearly didn't fit.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I still have two unused at home. They serve to remind me how politicians rarely let a good crisis go to waste, and shovel as many public funds as they can to their rich friends.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thanks!” for the answer @zichi 11:48am: $20 each.” - Hope today’s publicized surplus doesn't adversely affect the current, open-market price. (Perhaps some are still trying to unload their surplus of “Beanie Babies”.)

Our neighbor slip one loop over her teacup poodle’ s neck and one loop over the tail. The dog now wears the Abenomask as a “manner pantsu” when riding in her handbag. -

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Use them as stuffing in school gym mats?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This joker again..........

Q: How do you "show" you've done something for the people, distribute common face masks, pretend it cost "X" amount of tax money, and get away richer?

A: Make sure that "X" is the exact amount of tax funds you've embezzled over the years, right before you (conveniently) "resign" as Prime Minister.

It makes you wonder, how many of those masks came from the hoarded supply that Abe and his boys claimed during the pandemic to "cause" false scarcity during dire times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sort of like putting a 3cm slab of Abe Spam over your mouth. Weird smelling tiny things.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With a little silicon tooth adhesive make for great tooth crowns.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They’ll probably be needed, sooner or later. And you’ll surely find the several reasons too, if thinking about it for a minute.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

$20 each

Find it hard to believe that anyone would buy these individually on ebay, for this price, when they were sent together in the same package! Sounds like more bull.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14469339

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They have become collector items for museums.

'Abenomasks' turn up in a pandemic-era time capsule

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13964132

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Must have been a nice kick back to place that order for all those masks. Japan is politically corrupt Chinese style.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I still have mine along with an extra mask left over from the former tenant whose apartment I moved into.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

remain unused and are being kept in a private storage facility at a cost of hundreds of millions of yen

A good thing Santa Claus is paying for that, isn’t it.

The free market isn’t perfect but it’s a goodly ways ahead of such central planning.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Never opened mine and it is now with my...

My wife's collection of historical artifacts will cost my son a fortune to get rid of.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A fine example of government corruption and wasteful spending. From the foreign manufactured tainted masks with hairs to the storage facility probably being owned by a close aquaintance of Abe. Is anyone surprised?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To be left in storage would be a waste, make it work.

They may be appropriate for the size of a childs face at least?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Collector’s items in original packaging often sell for high prices. Your grandchildren will be able to sell the masks and buy a car someday.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They have become collector items for museums.

'Abenomasks' turn up in a pandemic-era time capsule

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13964132

Hope they put Abe, Suga (and soon Kishida) in the capsule as well and bury it deep, very deep to never see the sun ever again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Give us taxpayers our 11.5 biilion yen back, you moron!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every politician should have to buy some of them until they are all sold, and all costs covered. Should be easy enough, and hey, it was a great idea according to them, so why would they hesitate?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The leftovers currently in storage are worth 11.5 billion yen

Yep, that demonstrates how great it is to transfer management of anything to the government bureaucracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My husband and I still have ours in the original packaging. We are keeping them as a monument to wasting taxpayers money and resources. The ultimate white elephant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After the 31 Oct election, poor Japanese citizens can burn these masks for a little extra heat this winter, when gas & electrical prices will begin to soar.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

… and later in the spring 2022, the consumption tax will be raised to 12%.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Actually, I admit to wearing the Abenomasks to the gym sometimes. If I need to sweat in a mask I don’t want to use a nice one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe will pay out of his personal money???

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I FRAMED mine. LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

in storage! Adding insult to injury, the storage oyagi probably another Abe friend. Nobody wants these, sell them for recycling.

This would be an election issue scandal anywhere else because so many people were sent examples, but wasting taxpayers money is just so commonplace it's pretty sad. If Japan didn't have all these grifters it would be able to focus on important issues

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A symbol of LDP gov's ineptitude and failure.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If they’re too small for adults, maybe they could be used by children. Or they could donate them to underdeveloped countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They should be given out as bonuses to lawmakers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A guy who wants to marry a women gets hammered, smacked down, abused by the media because his mum didn't pay back 4 million yen, this duffus wastes billions of yen, goes to cherry blossom viewing parties at out expense and we don't hear a peep. What an appalling media machine Jpn. Inc keeps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perhaps they could be sent to whomever all of that Astra-Zenaca vaccine was donated (dumped on) early in the introduction of vaccines...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ignore the fact that he was the longest serving PM in Japan's history and your good to go, keep on trashing and bashing. Japanese would vote for him again if he decided to run. Hard pill for some of you to swallow but it's true.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

He was definitely better than some of the other PM thats for certain.

But the article is taking about masks and not a discussion about abe's longevity in office

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Please throw them in the garbage where they belong.

People who walk around with a mask on are actors in a plandemic theater, displaying a fear mechanism that only contributes to the globalists' plan to control all of us.

You think I'm wrong?

Look at this notion of "vaccine passports", for example. What's next? How about Digital IDs where these one world government criminals monitor and control every aspect of your lives.

Wake up, people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponOct. 30  07:40 am JST

Ignore the fact that he was the longest serving PM in Japan's history...

Easily enough explained, considering the messed-up state of Japanese politics.

and your good to go, keep on trashing and bashing.

It's hard not to, when there's just so much to work with.

Japanese would vote for him again if he decided to run.

No. They wouldn't. Some old LDP backroom boys would get behind him, get the rank and file Diet members to fall in line and over-ride the ordinary LDP members' votes if they chose someone else in the first round. Around a quarter of the Japanese electorate would then vote LDP again if he were in charge.

Hard pill for some of you to swallow but it's true.

I don't think so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suga & Kishida not reliable ,because all of you , Dunce PM Abe’s Legacy that he distributed the mask to the nationwide no one take it over !

Post Kishida keeps going on as well !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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