Japan's 100,000-Yen Handout Plan in Disarray

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's sudden change on ways to distribute 100,000 yen in child benefits underscored the confusion over the scheme.

The government initially planned to hand out 50,000 yen in cash by the end of the year and 50,000 yen in vouchers next spring to provide the benefits for people aged 18 or younger.

In response to opposition from municipalities, however, the government chipped away at the principle and instead allowed the whole amount to be provided in cash without conditions.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, "I humbly accept views that the timing of the decision making is slow and municipalities are struggling."

The benefit program was based on a campaign pledge from Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, for October's general election.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press