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Yonaguni Town looking for misplaced subsidy funds

Date Posted: 2010-09-09

Yonaguni Town is trying to figure what happened to a portion of ¥18 million in special promotion subsidies granted by the central government several years ago, fearful that it may have been misappropriated.

The question of whether ¥1 million of the monies earmarked for promoting traditional Okinawan entertainment was squandered, misappropriated or simply misplaced is causing local officials to investigate where it went. Initial reports are that the money was used for sending Yonaguni Town entertainers to mainland Okinawa three years ago, an action outside the permissible scope of the subsidy’s use, which clearly directs money cannot be used outside of the community.

A current town assembly member agrees with town residents who contend “there are two people who received this money and used it. One was the chief treasurer of the Town Office, and the other one was entrusted with performances of traditional entertainment in mainland Okinawa.” The assemblyman says the entertainer was also the group’s chairman, and together with the chairman, is suspected of misappropriating the money. Citizens’ groups have lodged a complaint with the Okinawa Prefectural Police, requesting a full investigation.

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