Among the measures to combat the new coronavirus, the provision of ¥100,000 to each resident across-the-board is highly urgent from the viewpoint of supporting household budgets. The central and local governments must revise the preparations in place to promptly provide the allowance.
Online applications for the disbursement using My Number cards and computers are particularly confusing.
An increasing number of people have been locked out of the dedicated website after forgetting their passwords or inputting errors by mistake on the website. These people rushed to local government offices for advice.
More than 80% of the public do not have My Number cards. Taking this opportunity to have a card made, many such people have also visited the local government offices, causing crowding.
The online application system was originally designed to prevent infection by allowing people to go through the procedures without visiting the offices, while also realizing quick disbursement of the allowance. Putting the cart before the horse has created crowded situations and the procedures are also being delayed.
The central and local governments must again make people widely aware about points of caution for the applications.
The management system for My Number cards is operated by a corporation under the jurisdiction of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and local governments’ access of it has been concentrated, so trouble connecting to the system has also arisen. It is necessary to strengthen the system.
It is also essential to speed up the applications by post. It has been more than a month since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the government’s plan to uniformly provide ¥100,000, but many local governments, mainly in urban areas, have not been able to send application forms.
Some local governments outsource to private companies the printing of residents’ data, envelope packing and mail delivery. In some areas, as orders converged on specific contractors, there have been delays in the operations.
There are some cases in which local governments are postponing delivery until the printing of residents’ data for all households is completed. The delivery of each application form should begin as soon as they are printed.
The Tsu city government has already finished distributing the application forms as it proceeded with the preparations for delivery even during the Golden Week holidays in early May, sending them out one after the other. The Sapporo city government, which has 970,000 households eligible for the allowances, prioritized the preparation of the mail delivery system over online applications, and began sending the forms Monday.
Some local governments have devised ways to give priority to those who need immediate aid, providing application forms to download from websites and having them mailed in.
The important thing is to provide aid to people in need as soon as possible. Local governments must beat their brains. It will also be necessary to establish a system to efficiently check the contents of application forms.
If there are mistakes or omissions in the application process, the amount of work required by local governments will increase, delaying the disbursement of allowances. For residents as well, it is hoped they will keep it in mind to fill out the forms accurately.