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Tweet of the Week #46: Government Creates 3600-Page PDF to Help Consumers Make Cashless Payments

Ain't nobody got time for that.

By 3 min read

Brace yourself, Japan’s consumption tax increase is coming!

The much disliked 消費税しょうひぜい (shouhizei) will be going up from 8 to 10 percent on October 1, 2019. This twice-delayed tax hike brings back painful memories, with the last raise, from 5 to 8 percent in 2014, plunging the country into a brief recession. 

Keeping consumers and businesses happy

The Abe administration may feel a 2 percent tax raise is essential to boost the economy, but Japanese consumers and retailers sure aren’t happy about it. 

To appease the people, the government offered to subsidize a point-back system for cashless transactions at small and medium-sized retailers. Consumers using credit cards, smartphones, and QR codes for their purchases will get loyalty points worth 2 percent of their purchase in return. So, if you’re smart with your payments, you could end up paying a tax rate of 8 percent— as if nothing ever changed! 

Ain’t nobody got time to check so many pages!

But here’s the catch. A lot of Japanese retailers weren’t actually equipped to deal with cashless payments. So, in the past few months, many of them began implementing measures to be able to accept more payment methods.

However, consumers needed a resource that listed which store would be able to accept a cashless payment and enable them to benefit from the point-back system. You know, something like a store locator online or a special payment mark by the cash register.

The solution that Japanese officials came up with? A list of all the stores offering cashless payment throughout the country displayed in a 3,600-page PDF.

これ政府せいふのキャッシュレス推進すいしん広報こうほうなんだけど、使つかえるおみせしたら3600ページもあるPDFにばされて官公庁かんこうちょうあたま大丈夫だいじょうぶ?ってなってる。

= This is the government’s cashless payment promotion, though I wonder what went through the government officers’ heads when they made it so a 3600-page PDF would pop up when you click on (the button to search for) cashless payment-friendly stores.

Obviously, @kanaxpon isn’t the only one doubting the sanity of the officials who thought publishing this PDF would be an awesome idea. 

ちょっとびてるんでPDFのリンクっておきますね。これ、都道府県とどうふけん全部ぜんぶみせるからもう意味いみわからないし、これかみ印刷いんさつするもんなら税金ぜいきん無駄むだ

= This is buzzing, so I’ll share the PDF link here. This document lists every store in all the prefectures. Does this make any sense? Won’t printing this on paper be a waste of our taxes?!

Yes, it would be a waste. And bad for the environment too. What were these guys thinking?

Get to know what the particle ん means at the end of a sentence. 

Let’s forget about taxes for a couple of minutes and focus our attention on , that you’ll find before a predicate or a verb. is the short version for the particle  which, when ending a sentence or clause, brings on various nuances: 

  • Explaining causes or reasons for something

どうしてまどめましたか。= Why did you close the window?

さむいのです。= Because I’m cold. 

When you are asked this kind of question with or , you’ll usually reply using the .

  • Emphasize or show surprise

そうなのですか。= Is that so?!

  • Stating clearly an opinion

もういらないのです。= I don’t need it anymore. 

  • Softening a request

トイレにきたいんですが・・・= I’d like to go to the toilets… Could you let me go?

While is polite, has a more casual feel. 

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
これ kore this
政府せいふ seifu government
キャッシュレス kyasshyuresu cashless
推進すいしん suishin promotion
広報こうほう kouhou publicity
けど kedo but
使つかえる tsukaeru can use
みせ o mise shop
osu  push
ページ peeji page
ある aru be (for non-being)
ばす tobasu skip to
官公庁かんこうちょう kankouchou government office
あたま atama head
大丈夫だいじょうぶ daijoubu okay
なる naru become
ちょっと chotto rather, a little
びる nobiru grow, buzz (for social media)
リンク rinku link
haru stick
都道府県とどうふけん todoufuken prefecture
全部ぜんぶ zenbu all
noru put on
から kara because
もう mou already
意味いみ imi meaning
わかる wakaru understand
かみ kami paper
印刷いんさつする insatsu suru print
税金ぜいきん zeikin tax
無駄むだ muda vain, wasteful
ki feeling, impression

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