Japanese city mistakenly sent people 17,000 USD of beef

The city of Miyazaki in southern Japan sent the wrong amount of beef worth $17,000 to residents, but did not recall it, but encouraged them to consume it to avoid waste.

The city government of Miyazaki, capital of the prefecture of the same name, has a mechanism for giving gifts such as beef, chicken or pork to those who pay “hometown taxes”. This is a program for people living in one city to pay taxes to another city, be it their hometown or a rural area with a declining population, to support these localities. In return, they will receive gifts from that region, often food or artifacts, sometimes tickets to events.

In February, the city of Miyazaki sent 140 servings of beef worth 2.1 million yen ($17,000) to “hometown tax” payers but did not record them in the database. So, on May 15, they delivered another 140 servings of beef.

Miyazaki City Hall, Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan.  Photo: Youmiuri.

Miyazaki City Hall, Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan. Image: Youmiuri.

The Miyazaki Homeland Contribution Support Team, which oversees the shipment of beef, undertakes to pay the cost of the goods and the shipping of the wrong batch. They email all recipients, encouraging immediate consumption instead of sending back fresh meat to avoid waste.

Mistaken transfers are a hot topic in Japan, following the case of a 24-year-old man mistakenly receiving a $360,000 subsidy in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan. Some Japanese social media users say they must now be more vigilant when receiving goods from the government. However, others consider it unreasonable to compare the two cases.

“At least they didn’t wrongly transfer $360,000 worth of beef,” one person commented.

“I’m starting to doubt the ability of Japanese civil servants,” wrote another.

Mr. Norihto Nakanishi at Wagyu Nishinoharu Beef Farm, Miyazaki Prefecture.  Photo: LifestyleAsia.

Mr. Norihto Nakanishi at Wagyu Nishinoharu Beef Farm, Miyazaki Prefecture. Image: LifestyleAsia.

Others suggested that this incident may have unintentionally advertised Miyazaki beef. “140 seats is not much, but it helps promote anyway”, one person commented. “Please move more wrong!”.

“That was a great mistake, Miyazaki beef is the best,” commented another.

Miyazaki is famous for its premium Wagyu beef, which is considered a luxury in the world beef market. Miyazaki Prefecture’s Wagyu beef has always competed strongly in the Wagyu Olympics, a competition for beef quality in Japan with a long history dating back to 1966.

Duc Trung (Theo Youmiuri Shimbun/Japan News)

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