Meat error in your favor!

Government screw-ups are becoming all the rage in Japan recently. Hot off the heels of a huge mix-up that sent about 46M yen (US$360,000) to one guy in Yamaguchi Prefecture, nearby Miyazaki Prefecture is now having to deal with an accidental double delivery of meat.

The incident occurred in the prefectural capital of Miyazaki City which was issuing orders of meat as a part of their Hometown Tax (Furusato Nozei) scheme. This is a system in which a person living in one city can donate a portion of their city tax to another city, preferably a rural one with a declining population. In exchange for this they are given a gift from that region, often in the form of food and drink but occasionally in the form of primo air-show seats or a life-sized bust of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star.

Miyazaki City, meanwhile, offers various gifts of beef, chicken, and pork to those willing to contribute to their municipal coffers. However, it appears in all the clamor to get some of this high-grade meat, they accidentally sent out 140 orders worth roughly 2.1 million yen ($16,500) twice.

According to the city, these gifts were first sent out in February of this year, but they weren’t recorded as having gone out. So, when the time for the next shipment rolled around on 15 May, these seemingly unfilled orders were sent out again.

The Miyazaki Hometown Love Donation Support Group were the ones responsible for the oversight and vowed to cover the cost of the items and shipping. They also sent emails to all the recipients telling them to not return the fresh meat because it’d just be a waste. Better they eat it instead.

Normally, that’d probably go without saying, but since the Yamaguchi incident made one person a cause célèbre all over Japan, people are probably a little extra wary of accepting erroneously sent goods from the government.

Readers of the news, nevertheless, felt this case was rather quaint in comparison.

“At least it wasn’t 46 million yen worth of meat.”
“Just 140 is kind of cute, and probably helps with promotion anyway.”
“I thought they were digitizing the government, so why does this stuff keep happening?”
“Please send out more mistakes!”
“When humans try not to make mistakes, they’re almost certain to make mistakes. This is better left to machines.”
“I’m jealous, but you know all those people are going to donate there again next year in the hopes of more.”
“I bet a fax machine was involved in this mix-up.”
“I’m beginning to question the competency of our civil servants.”
“That’s a great mistake. Miyazaki beef is the best.”

It certainly turned out to be a pretty good case of indirect marketing for Miyazaki meat, so hopefully the committee behind the error don’t have to pay too heavy a price for it. I too had no idea production there was so good, and will definitely take it under consideration next time I’m preparing a barbecue. 

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun
Top image: Pakutaso
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