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“Furusato Nōzei” Donations Hit Another Record in Fiscal 2016 (News)

Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)—The total amount of money contributed under the furusato nōzei hometown donation system in Japan in fiscal 2016 grew 70% from the previous year to ¥284.4 billion, setting a record high for the fourth straight year, the internal affairs ministry said Tuesday. The growth was mainly due to the attractive gifts donors receive from local governments in return for their don…

Gifts for Donations: Winners and Losers in “Hometown Tax” Program

The furusato nōzei (hometown tax payment) program began in 2008 as a way for small regional communities to earn extra revenue through donations from former residents, collected in the form of tax payments earmarked for the regional governments by the taxpayers themselves. It became wildly popular, and in fiscal 2015 donations ballooned to ¥165.2 billion, or 4.3 times the amount for the previous ye…

Regional Reform Back on the Front BurnerHitora Tadashi

Japan is today seeing renewed interest in the idea of fundamentally reforming the current system of 47 prefectures. The idea is to create a new system of regional blocs encompassing several prefectures each: one for Tōhoku, one for Kansai, and so on. The reform idea was bottled up when the Democratic Party of Japan took power in 2009. Now that Osaka mayor Hashimoto Tōru’s Osaka Restoration Associa…

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