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Stimulus money flowing, but with some problems

Date Posted: 2009-04-30

The •12,000 payments to each citizen under a Japanese stimulus money program are in progress, but municipalities are encountering difficulties in doling out the yen because of complex and sometimes confusing rules.

The central government has assigned the money to municipalities in Okinawa, but local officials are finding some couples are having problems receiving it because of rules. Couples living apart, as in cases where separation is a result of domestic violence actions on the part of the husband, is problematic because the wife isnít in the family home and the law requires the money be paid to the husband as head of the household. He gets the wifeís money, as well as that of the children.

Uruma City has stepped out and chosen to pay the victims, typically the wives, from its own city budget. Naha City and Ishigaki City have indicated theyíll do the same, but the separated wife must provide the appropriate city office with her new address. Without it, officials say, they canít do it.

Bank charges for the money transfers to citizens will be borne by Naha City, which has executed a contract with Bank of the Ryukyus to charge •105 for each transaction. The City Office will pay the transfer fee, which is less than the normal •315 banks charge. A total of 11 Okinawa municipalities have sought the special price from Bank of the Ryukyus, but city office officials say it appears the bank is continuing to demand all except Naha City pay the full •315 fee.

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