Japan to Seek to Limit "Furusato Nōzei" Rewards to Local Specialties (News)
Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's internal affairs ministry will urge regional governments to limit the rewards they give to furusato nōzei donors to local goodies, ministry officials said Friday.
The ministry hopes to remedy a situation in which some local governments are sending specialties from other regions or even abroad as gifts in return for donations.
It sees such moves running counter to the purpose of the furusato nōzei system, which is to give people chances to support their hometowns or favorite regions through financial contributions.
Under the system, donors qualify for income and residential tax deductions, in addition to getting rewards from the recipient municipalities or prefectures in many cases.
Since the system was created in fiscal 2008, local governments have increasingly competed with each other to win donations by offering attractive gifts. For example, a municipality in the Kyūshū southwestern region sends as rewards popular Yubari melons from the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaidō, while a local government in the Kansai western region gives donors bottles of champagne.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]