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Disaster relief funds used to count turtles, promote cheese, wine events

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By Miwa Suzuki

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While there is no suggestion of corruption,

The joke of the year! Tell this to the people who are STILL suffering and need help! Angry does not begin to explain how I am feeling about this.....

32 ( +33 / -1 )

WOW, can anyone really be surprised at this news. This seems to be standard operating procedure here in the land of wa. Guess what....there is no wa without siphoning off money for those that want their wa.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said staff were checking how the money had been used, but noted the reported spending took place under the previous administration." I love this comment. The LDP would never do anything like this. No they are far too concerned about the people who were devastated by the March 11th earthquake. I have a feeling if the LDP were in power at the time, even more money would have been wasted as they would have been like a kid in a candy store with an unlimited credit card.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to allocate 25 trillion yen over five years to fund reconstruction from the disaster, including building new homes and public facilities

When would be a good time to start this construction you think?

This does not even raise an eyebrow these days.

Look to hear more of such reports over the next few years, as it does not look like anyone is in charge of the funds and some people are writing checks to their own agenda.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I do not understand why there is more of an outcry from the public about this criminal mismanagement of public funds. Heads should be rolling, and right into jail!

Wake up people of Japan! The people you elected into office are robbing you blind right before your eyes and all you seem to care about is who is screwing whom. When it's you that's taking it up the backdoor! I know I feel something back there too, as it's my taxes that are getting misused too!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

No surprises there

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They say in Japan that when you see one cockroach there are at least 30 more that you don't see.

I'm certain there is MUCH, MUCH more underneath this. Conditions for the people who were rendered homeless by the Tohoku disaster are still terrible. Very little has been done for them. And public money that would have helped restore their lives frittered away on pathetically useless things.

Abe and his gang are responsible and should be brought to justice.

Japan needs a Wikileaks.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

And now that its out, will anything change? Nope, the people responsible are laughing their ass off.

And what makes me even more mad that the people from Yamaguchi and Tottori that received the money DIDNT decline it, insert massive raging curse

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How is this not corrupt? Theft is corrupt, immoral, despicable. Shame shame shame - they should be giving up their bonuses to make up the difference. Appalling. ...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

While there is no suggestion of corruption

Well, if the money was procured for one thing (aiding stricken disaster survivors) and used for something totally different (like promoting mascots) then that seems to be corrupt. It says "dishonest, illegal or immoral behaviour, especially from someone with power" in my dictionary's definition of corruption.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If not corruption, this is proof of "government" failure. When the public sector "flushes" needed cash down its leaking systems, you simply wonder if they should privatize every inefficient public system.Politicians here are a "failure" if not "totally corrupt".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No Country for Poor People.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Tapping" the public tax money for anything without getting problem with the justice is now the common behavior in Japan, not very different from any other "banana" republics. Why is nobody prosecuted and fined to reimburse ? It makes you wonder why do you work and pay taxes exactly ? With this kind of attitude , the country will only raise more and more taxes to satisfy only more and more corrupted thieves, disgusting !

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Last year, the whaling industry was given ¥2.5 billion of the reconstruction funds.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

“After seeing the results, we will take firm measures with a view to stricter rules on use,” Right. We've heard that before.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In December 2011, the government said it had spent 2.28 billion yen of money allocated for disaster reconstruction on bolstering security around its whaling fleet as the ships readied to do battle with campaigners in the Southern Ocean.

These are the guys that should have been swallowed up by the tsunami... The whole lot of them ! The Government guys as well as the whalers... Unbelievable anywhere else - except in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Suga doesn't get the money back, he should resign.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"No Country for Poor People." nice. I think I am the only one who got this joke

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Anyone else from outside Japan starting to feel stupid for donating?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

I shall not be donating any money, the next time something big comes up. I cannot be sure it will be spent on victims.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hang your head in shame Japan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Totally speechless and totally shameful to The Japanese government!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

""No Country for Poor People." nice. I think I am the only one who got this joke. "

I think you're the only person who thinks you're the only person who got that joke.

Anyway, the whole bloody thing's a joke. I hope the international media gets onto this and it recieves the outrage it deserves.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

They are like rats at a block of cheese! Everybody wants a bit! The longer this money sits there the more rats are gonna take a piece.

Andre Hut - I shall not be donating any money

You won't have a choice cos your taxes will be increased to pay for the actual rebuilding, while all the previously donated funds are fritted away on frivolous pursuits.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In the other hand, one must try to understand, You had better re-route for private use public tax money and end in the now "national section" than steal a watermelon, some kg of rice or a few facets otherwise you will go directly to the "crime" section. When was the last financial crime reported in the crime section ? Clearly this is not considered as a crime but more like some kind of "national sport", so why stop ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Absolutely appalling. An unconscionable misuse of funds. I'm not surprised .... just disgusted.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Count turtles, promote cheese, wine events... what disaster was there with the whole society of turtles, dairy products, and events that is more important than the thousands stranded and forgotten about? Ya... three steps backwards on this one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Combination of Government supervision and spending and Japan - this was inevitable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We public servants have taken a 7% pay cut TO FUND THIS RUBBISH!!! I didn't object at the time because I thought all the money was actually going to rebuild Tohoku, not being pis**** up a wall like this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Japanese should be outraged by this. Let me tell you why.

What do you think will happen next time a disaster hits? Do you think that some donors will wonder whether their donations will actually get to the people who need it? Too much of what has been donated to Japan has not made it to helping anyone who actually needs the help.

Second.

Those of us who are both donating and paying higher taxes are pissed off! We gave in good faith hoping that money will be used to help people, but instead it is helping corrupt officials pay for idiotic programs that do not help.

Third.

Many of us donated not to the red cross or to the Japanese government. We paid our donations to smaller groups who document and provide evidence of everything they did in the north. I know that most of money we raised through charity events we held and through donations we solicited from friends around the world went to groups that took that money and went directly to the people in the north. We saw photos of what they did and we know that helped.

Most of these groups were formed the week after 3/11 and did more to directly help people than the J-governent or J-Red Cross. If amateur groups can substantially help people, why can't the government do more? And do it better?

Useless government here. Utterly useless.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Fighting Viking.....

Unbelievable anywhere else - except in Japan.

If you do a little bit of research you'll find that this type of corruption and mismanagement of government funds runs rampant throughout the world. Many times because of the need for speedy resolutions it seems easy for politicians to hide their own little pork projects in a much larger package and no one really looks until after the fact.

Sadly people have short memories.

@Andre Hut.....

I shall not be donating any money, the next time something big comes up. I cannot be sure it will be spent on victims.

Do you plan on stopping to pay taxes here, that is if you live here? Not really a unique idea and while I empathize with you please try to keep in mind that the money was Japanese TAX money and not private funding or donations that is being discussed here in this article.

Yes, the donated money needs to be accounted for too, but that is "off-topic" here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What do you think will happen next time a disaster hits? Do you think that some donors will wonder whether their donations will actually get to the people who need it? Too much of what has been donated to Japan has not made it to helping anyone who actually needs the help.

Let's be clear, shall we.......

This has nothing to do with the money donated by people, institutions or companies. This money was set aside by the gov't for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Its just like the pork barrel spending in America.

Again, this has nothing to do with money donated!!!!!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The Japanese should be outraged by this.

I agree, but I honestly don't think they have the genes for outrage.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree, but I honestly don't think they have the genes for outrage.

The folks that are running the government today had them, they just forgot where they put them. If you do a little checking the Japanese were pretty violent protesters at one time. They have gotten fat and lazy and apathetic that's all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As Zichi said.

This isn't from donations. It doesn't make it right but anyone who donated shouldn't feel that their money has been wasted. Unless you donated to the Red Cross but that's a completely different argument.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Again, this has nothing to do with money donated!!!!!

Agreed, but wait until the Japan Red Cross get found out what they have done with donations. Intercontinental Hotel boss flew over and gave $1m and to this day has no idea what happened to this money given to JRC.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't think all the money donated to the IRC and JRC was wasted but I agree its better when you can to donate directly to NGO's but that's difficult for overseas donors to find the necessary info.

Overseas donation -------->International Red Cross(who keep a percentage for future disasters) ---------->Japanese Red Cross (who keep a percentage for future disaster) --------------> local gov't committees which decided how the donations were used.

The central gov't had no access to those donations.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The worst thing is Japanese people are not brave enough to stand up together to fight the government. There are some but just not enough........... shoganai as most would say...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not only do they keep a percentage they say on their website that they will donate whatever the JRC request, therefore had the JRC requested zero the international Red Cross would be collecting money for Japan, but without donating a penny.

The Red Cross' business model is a disgrace. Be first there. Get your name on the news. Have video footage of you handing out aid. But don't mention that the aid comes from elsewhere. And don't mention that you are not an immediate relief agency. But encourage others to believe that you are.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Heda_Madness

But didn't the Red Cross state they had donated more than 90% of the $1.3 billion collected? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/11/japan-earthquake-tsunami-anniversary_n_1337570.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Interesting piece of Red Cross propaganda - initial donations went to food and water? I don't know anyone who saw this but I know many people who were involved, across a wide area and seniority, who had nothing positive to say about them.

I do know they're a business. A mightily successful business and one that understands the power of the media. As I say they claim for international disasters but there is no guarantee that any money raised for that disaster will make it. There small print says so, so that makes it right.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Heda_Madness

You didn't answer the question. You don't believe that the JRC handed over more than 90% of the $1.3 billion donations to the local gov't committees?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To be honest I don't know. However I do know that they were sitting on a large pile for a long time and not doing anything with it. Other NGOs who were on the ground missed out on urgently needed funds because people went down the Red Cross route. And the people suffered.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Heda_Madness

so what about this statement?

As of 31 May 2013, we have received JPY 327.2 billion yen (USD 3.2 billion). With the money raised by the other donation-collecting body, the Community Chest of Japan, JPY 358.5 billion yen (USD 3.5 billion) has been transferred to the Grant Disbursement Committees in 15 affected prefectures by 31 May 2013. http://www.jrc.or.jp/eq-japan2011/donation/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said staff were checking how the money had been used, but noted the reported spending took place under the previous administration."

This is excuse number one when a government is caught red-handed. Number two is retract any admission of guilt and pretend it never happened. Number three is, when it hits the foreign media, to say it's an attack on Japanese culture.

But hey, let's donate BILLIONS to Africa and Myanmar while the money we should have spent on people STILL in shelters is wasted on pine trees, wine and cheese parties, and whaling! This is an extreme outrage, but what will be done about it? NOTHING.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Heda_Madness

I think you are wrong again because JRC donated funds immediately and within the first six months but donations were still being given and even by last year it had donated more than 90% of the money to the committees which themselves were also slow on deciding how the money should be used. I no great fan of the RC but lets keep the facts straight. Anyway, enough on this?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zichi, that's not what those who were involved saw. And I'm talking about people who were the heads of a number of NGOs who came to Japan as well as people at non Japanese government level.

The feeling from those involved is that they would never support the RC in anything in the future. As my post, deleted, showed, they still have over 30% of donations that were given for Sandy.

They are there presenting at the front but it's not from them. It's from corporates (including Suntory) or from other NGOs.

And that, is the facts.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

smithinjapan: But hey, let's donate BILLIONS to Africa and Myanmar while the money we should have spent on people STILL in shelters is wasted on pine trees, wine and cheese parties, and whaling!

Whether or not the money should go to African nations or Myanmar is debatable but what happened here has nothing to do with that, as I said in a post on that very topic a couple of days ago. Besides the money set aside from public spending, Japan was given over half a billion dollars from donations collected around the world.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness

the fact is by 31 May 2013 the JRC had transferred to the Grant Disbursement Committees in 15 affected prefectures 358.5 billion yen (USD 3.5 billion). Thats still the largest amount given by anyone organisation. And like I said, its difficult from overseas to find the info on all the NGO's and then the bank details. Anyway you have a beef with RC and I'm done with this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sorry Zichi but I have to respond.

Within 2 years they have donated that. However they were incredibly slow, they misrepresent themselves as an initial emergency aid organisation which they are not. Donations go to them in the initial stages when food, water and shelter are the most important things. They do nothing in these areas. They do, however provide 32 inch TVs and Air conditioning units.

Ask anyone who was involved in the initial stages of the relief efforts and they will give you the same story.

On all of my trips there, I never saw anything of the Red Cross which is pretty incredible given the ground we covered.

9% for administration. $30 million was donated to the American Red Cross for Japan. Japan initially refused that money. The American Red Cross continued to ask for funds for Japan. Only later did the Japanese Red Cross ask for money. And if it hadn't that money, that was donated for Japan, would have stayed in the US.

They're an amazing business.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is NOT corruption?! I'm sorry but when me and my friends decided to make events to help tsunami-stricken territories, we wanted all the money collected (..many people didn't want to donate because "Japan is well off" and much better than our country, to be used there, to help the people and those areas! Not for other things. I'd have thought Japan wouldn't do like other countries and 'lie' on money allocation. Do they realize that this paints Japan in a VERY bad light?! Already people in my country don't like Japan much (jealousy probably? Or still living in WWII)..hearing this is all they wanted. I think I should have come to Japan to help instead of donating money :/

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

when people donate money to the disaster victims, the money should go were it's intended to--not for petty BS. i think what they are doing should be considered a crime. they should return the money back to the earthquake and tsunami victims!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Come on guys, don't worry so much about where the money's gone. The people affected have a magical fake tree that relieves them of all their worries.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Heda_Madness: "Within 2 years they have donated that. However they were incredibly slow, they misrepresent themselves as an initial emergency aid organisation which they are not. Donations go to them in the initial stages when food, water and shelter are the most important things."

So your defense of 200 billion yen of misspent money is to blame the Red Cross?

ambrosia: "Whether or not the money should go to African nations or Myanmar is debatable but what happened here has nothing to do with that, as I said in a post on that very topic a couple of days ago."

There is indeed a connection, and it's about priority. The people suffering do not seem to be, whereas wining and dining, building contact lens factories or highways, counting turtles, and donating to foreign nations "in the name of the restructuring of Tohoku" seem to be the way the government wants to spend money given to them either by taxes or donation.

No more money should be donated towards relief or the victims of Tohoku until it's made clear by the government where EXACTLY it will go. Foreign governments should demand their money back. It is literally a shame that people are still committing suicide because they can't handle the shelters while people in Kagoshima are using the money earmarked for the former to count turtles, or fat lawmakers in other prefectures can say -- "I like Beaujoulais Neuveau better!"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Smith - read my posts.

This isn't from donations. It doesn't make it right but anyone who donated shouldn't feel that their money has been wasted. Unless you donated to the Red Cross but that's a completely different argument.

At no point have I defended the misuse of the money. I have however criticised the Red Cross for the way that they dealt with their collections. The two are separate. But in my opinion, and many other people who have first hand knowledge of the subject, equally wrong.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness: "The two are separate."

Exactly. So why the deflection? You're shifting the topic from the misuse of funds by the government, which is what this thread is about, to what YOU see as the Red Cross' wrong-doing, which by the way zichi has you beaten hands down on. In essence, you are trying to dampen the issue by shifting the blame.

"But in my opinion, and many other people who have first hand knowledge of the subject, equally wrong."

Not even close, even if you were correct, which you're not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just as an example, my family, my wife's sister's family and my friend's family all received household appliances from the Red Cross when we moved out of Fukushima to other prefectures. We are all very grateful.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'd be interested to know what your experience is on the subject. To be honest I can't be bothered. I've relayed first hand accounts. I've shown that the Red Cross will collect in their own country and will only give to the disaster area if that specific red cross requests for money (available on red cross site). They go on a mass PR campaign at the start of any disaster but have little intention of turning that initial money to food and water etc.

All of that is fact. That you choose to ignore those facts is fine. Donate to the Red Cross (if you do). Or donate to an organisation that actually helps at a point when it is life or death. I posted a link which the moderator deleted that was critical of the organisation.

They do good stuff. But they advertise as being a relief organisation. But in Tohoku they weren't. And people donated to them when other organisations were doing more on the ground at first and needed more money. And that my friend, are the facts.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness: "I've shown that the Red Cross will collect in their own country and will only give to the disaster area if that specific red cross requests for money (available on red cross site)."

What you've 'shown' is that you say donations are not part of the topic but spend the entire thread, save a mere "misspending is wrong" comment, talking about a company that deals with donations.

"They do good stuff. But they advertise as being a relief organisation. But in Tohoku they weren't. And people donated to them when other organisations were doing more on the ground at first and needed more money. And that my friend, are the facts."

Point in case of your hypocrisy. I thought the two issues were separate?! How about we talk about the government wining and dining and cheese parties, counting of turtles, and what not? If you're going to insist on talking about the Red Cross and what you construe as their misused funds despite being proven otherwise, how can you possibly say this has nothing to do with donations?

Let's say I am in debt. I have borrowed money, and am in debt to certain people. Disaster happens. I am given money by friends and family. So instead of using the money I make at my job for the debt repayments, I call the donations by friends and family 'found money' and use my own salary for pleasure and profit. That's what's happening here. As such, you cannot honestly separate donations with earmarked government money when the government starts using the latter on a whim because it is getting the former to compensate for a little of it.

No one should donate to Japan again until this is cleared up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Onniyama - that's good and I know a lot of people did. There are also those who sold all of their appliances because they needed food and water. And still do. There are many organisations that are still providing food and water to those who need it.

But Onniyama did you receive food and water that was donated by the Red Cross in that first month? Did you receive any support from them in the intitial emergency. Because it was very much an emergency and for months the Red Cross was sitting on a lot of money when people needed it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is exactly why I never donate to charity. Rather, I'll give it directly to the person in need.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Heda: "But Onniyama did you receive food and water that was donated by the Red Cross in that first month?"

Once again blaming the Red Cross on a thread about government misspending while insisting donations are a separate issue. Classy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As someone who despises the Japanese government and it's cronies I'm geniuinely surprised of your defence of the Red Cross.

I'll reiterate what I said at the start, the failure to spend the money accordingly by the Japanese government is wrong. However this is public money, not donations.

You confused the two hence the reason I picked you up on it. If you donated to the vast majority of NPOs that were in Japan then your money would have been used quickly and effectively.

The Japanese government have wrongly used money that was earmarked for the redevelopment of Tohoku and used it on other projects. This is wrong.

No one should donate to Japan again until this is cleared up.

This is also very wrong.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness You seem to have insisted in taking over the entire thread and diverting it away from the real topic of misspent gov't monies.

After the first 7-10 days of the start of the disaster, people had the basic needs to survive and I was very impressed how well the gov't and the whole handled it. There were 100,000 SDF on the ground within hours.

People were sending so much food, water, blankets, clothes, others, that the mayor of Sendai made a public appeal for people to stop because they had filled up all their storage spaces with those donations.

People didn't need to sell their appliances to buy food, shame on you.

How lets turn the clock forward to May 2012, and please leave it there and talk about the gov't using allocating funding for the Tohoku reconstruction for everything than the reconstruction?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Heda_Madness: "However this is public money, not donations."

And yet you focus 99% of your comments on this thread towards a group that gives donations. Imagine that!

I'm not defending the Red Cross, though you've been proven wrong about your stats by zichi while at the same time (again focussing on donations) claiming people's donations were not misspent if they gave to other groups.

"You confused the two hence the reason I picked you up on it."

Ummm... no, you have been using one to deflect from the latter from the start.

"The Japanese government have wrongly used money that was earmarked for the redevelopment of Tohoku and used it on other projects. This is wrong."

How sweet. A mere sentence of "Tsk tsk" after some 10 or more posts about how wrong the Red Cross is. We're in agreement the government is wrong, it's just a shame you chose to turn it into a rant about a donation group after stating the thread is not about donations.

"This is also very wrong."

No, it's not. Clearly the money is not going to where it was intended. No different than aid to North Korea or Cambodia. The government, as I have said, is taking donation money as a substitute for money it has earmarked, and that is the very same thing as spending the donations on watching turtles while people in Tohoku commit suicide because they feel there is nothing else they can do. Don't water it down, or blame the Red Cross directly. If anything this article is clear proof of why they should not have helped out immediately, if your fiction were correct. The Red Cross would have gone in and been asked to check on the taste of cheese and wine, or walk on a newly erected and unnecessary expressway. Maybe the Red Cross objects to 2.5 billion being given to whaling when it could honestly be used to help people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No, I'm following on from my initial comment which you picked up on so I responded. Smith weighed in on that so I've now responded to that.

Or should I just ignore the responses?

The government (now deposed) did a superb job in that first 10 days. But I hadn't realised that the mayor of Sendai was the voice of Tohoku because there were a hell of a lot of areas that didn't have anywhere near the amount of food that they required. Or Water. I witnessed that first hand. And it's wrong to suggest that they had enough food.}

And I know for a FACT that people have sold their appliances for money. You want to go to a Save Minami Soma trip where still, 2 years after the event people are queuing for a 2-3000 yens worth of food and water. And they queue in all conditions.

And please don't you dare accuse me of making stuff up.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

TheRedsJun. 04, 2013 - 12:00PM JST

The worst thing is Japanese people are not brave enough to stand up together to fight the government.

Don't you know how often Japanese kick Prime Ministers out of office? Do you think making noise on the street have anything to do with real life?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Don't you know how often Japanese kick Prime Ministers out of office? Do you think making noise on the street have anything to do with real life?

Prime Ministers are not elected by the people, and its always their own party and factions which "kick them out of office".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Heda_Madness: "Or should I just ignore the responses?"

Not at all. But don't start off your own response by saying something is a separate issue then focus solely on said separate issue.

"And please don't you dare accuse me of making stuff up."

I didn't. You did. I just said you were wrong, and that zichi had proved it.

"And I know for a FACT that people have sold their appliances for money. You want to go to a Save Minami Soma trip where still, 2 years after the event people are queuing for a 2-3000 yens worth of food and water. And they queue in all conditions."

And that proves what I've said wrong.... how? How does it prove funds were misallocated and the government wrong for it?

And you still COMPLETELY miss the point! Saying it's not from donations is ludicrous, since in lieu of donations the government uses ear-marked money for non-related projects. It's EXACTLY the same as if I had to pay back a student loan with my salary, but got a thousand bucks from my mom and went shopping. I put the thousands bucks towards the loan, but since I didn't need to pay that thousand from my wages I used it for other purposes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zichi said shame on me. Shame on me for posting something which is true. I know for a fact that some of the people living in temporary housing sold their new appliances for money. Because they had none. For Zichi to accuse me of lying is offensive. Seriously offensive.

According to you no-one should donate to anyone. Apparently I'm the one that's ludicrous.

Personally I know there are gaps that no government can deal with, and that if it hadn't been for the donations and the actions of many volunteers the situation in Tohoku would have been a hell of a lot worse. But that's just the thoughts of one ludicrous individual.

.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Heda_Madness

For Zichi to accuse me of lying is offensive. Seriously offensive.

No I didn't accuse you of lying but shame on you for diverting the topic of the post away from the gov't's wasteful spending of the reconstruction funds and onto one of your pet topics, the Red Cross, which the post isn't about so you went way off topic.

For Zichi to accuse me of lying is offensive. Seriously offensive. I never said that, and even stated I thought it was better to give to the NGO's, which I have done and not to the RC, which I didn't, but there's a major problem for overseas donations, like Americans who want to give and the easy path is the RC.

A massive sum was donated by the RC, $1.3billion with a large amount of that from Americans.

People living in temporary accommodations in Minami Soma should be getting monthly payments from TEPCO if they had to move because of the radiation. They could also claim social welfare if they don't have enough money to eat.

I fully admire all the heart felt work done by the NGO's and their volunteers and wouldn't never criticise them for their great actions but again the topic of the post isn't about that, is it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Readers, no more bickering. Focus your comments on the topic and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda: "I've made 14 posts on the Red Cross, you've made 8. Smith has made 6."

We haven't made our posts on the Red Cross. That's the point in terms of where we differ. The thread is about misallocated funds, not about the Red Cross, and most CERTAINLY not about the Red Cross and donations when you ask others not to talk about donations.

The government has proven for the last two years it is incapable of dealing with the disaster and the funds given it -- be it donations or earmarked -- in a way that benefits the people suffering. NINETY-SEVEN percent of the people put in charge of dealing with the funds were in unaffected areas!! They are using it to COUNT TURTLES and for wine and cheese parties! Talking about how you think the RC has sat on funds is irrelevant, and if you want to talk about 'offensive' it is COMPLETELY offensive to the people who are suffering that you prefer to blame the RC for certain myths instead of actually commenting on the thread at hand.

"And I'm the one in the wrong."

Absolutely, in this case.

Moderator: We said no bickering.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm not really seeing the big controversy. In the areas hardest hit they STILL haven't decided what they want to do, so practically nothing's been done. If nothing's been done, there's no jobs to create, so they had to be created elsewhere.

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Fadamor: "I'm not really seeing the big controversy. In the areas hardest hit they STILL haven't decided what they want to do, so practically nothing's been done."

That's true... a big problem is how local governments deal with the money given, but if you think about it that's not a local problem at all but a fob off. They should be TOLD what to do with it, and if they can't deal with it, the locals should be fired to make way for people who can do the job. There is far too much lip service and red tape once the lip service is suggested to become a reality.

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200 billion. That sounds like a lot of money.

I wonder what it would be as a percentage of the total aid money so far.

Not that misappropriation of funds is ever right, but it would matter somewhat if it was, say, 3% rather than 30%.

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CH3CH0

Don't you know how often Japanese kick Prime Ministers out of office?

No, but there was a book published recently that lists the Japanese Prime Ministers the U.S.A. has kicked out of office.

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Anyone else from outside Japan starting to feel stupid for donating?

You didn't expect it ? You didn't even need to know this country as the donation for the East-Asian tsunami had ended up the same way. I was attacked on forums of foreign news sites to tell people that would be stupid to donate to Japan, as it's a country so richer than theirs, and then, if they didn't send the check at the name of a victim, the money had the chances of reaching the persons they saw homeless on TV... roughly equivalent to that of a bottle in the sea. I am not anti-charity by principle. If you know a project is being done by someone serious, give directly to the project. The calls for donations should be made AFTER. I mean when ***mura has a plan to rebuilt 100 houses, and found a contractor to do so, tell us the estimate and ask for money online.

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Sounds like the Red Cross.

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peanut666: "Sounds like the Red Cross."

Except it isn't -- it's the Japanese government.

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smithinjapan: There is indeed a connection, and it's about priority.

The people in Miyagi aren't - not receiving - proper assistance because the government is giving aid to other nations. They're not receiving it because of poor organization, corruption and incompetence.

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This article is about misallocation of Government budgeted funds and not money donated from other countries. Biased people will interpret facts the way they want.

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Corruption Japanese quake victims cheated out of aid

That the title of a German article.... http://www.dw.de/japanese-quake-victims-cheated-out-of-aid/a-16859634

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