Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s program, Cool Japan, is under fire by netizens because AKB48 allegedly used tax money to promote themselves overseas.
The problem started when a picture of an AKB48 decorated bus in Singapore surfaced on the internet. A netizen on a message board said, “This can’t be anything else but promotion for AKB48. Instead of calling this program Cool Japan, they should just say that AKB48 is using tax money to promote themselves overseas.” Many heated complaints followed.
Last year, a financial magazine wrote that Cool Japan is a program designed to promote Japanese merchandise and contents overseas and that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is forecasting a 700 million yen budget for the program.
Netizens are mad because AKB is using tax money to pay for promotion overseas in the guise of a government sponsored program.
“They keep telling us they’re not getting enough in taxes and then they go and spend it on this.”
“Are they kidding me? They’re raising the sales tax because of this?”
“However, whether AKB is using tax money to promote themselves is still unconfirmed. If they are, this will surely become a scandal.”
“The government often used famous people in overseas campaigns anyway.”
As long as the Ministry doesn’t explain itself, people will continue to feel they’ve been jibbed.