City of Akashi Mayor Fusaho Izumi is seen explaining how the support funds will reach children, at Akashi City Hall on Dec. 28, 2021. (Mainichi/Yasuhiro Okawa)
AKASHI, Hyogo — Amid technicalities excluding some single parents from receiving the government’s 100,000-yen (about $870) cash or coupon handout for children aged 18 and under amid the coronavirus pandemic, this west Japan city announced Dec. 28 it will hand the money to affected individuals as part of a reimbursement effort.
If a parent who does not take care of their children has received the handout, the Akashi Municipal Government will reclaim the funds. For divorced parents who have settled on child-support payments, the city will apply the same system currently in place for unpaid child support, in which the city covers the payments and collects the money from the other party.
The government handout is primarily aimed at households that received the child allowance for September 2021. As a result, there have been cases involving couples divorced after that time where if the person named to receive the child allowance — the breadwinner of the household — is not the one who has gone on to take custody of the children, the money does not reach the parent actually raising them.
Additionally, the city has eliminated income-based limits on handout eligibility. It makes some 4,000 more people eligible for the cash, and is a measure in response to the national government allowing the use of temporary coronavirus prevention funds. Akashi Mayor Fusaho Izumi said, “We will work to ensure the money certainly reaches the children.”
(Japanese original by Yasuhiro Okawa, Akashi Local Bureau)