In Japan, there is a system called the Hometown Tax Scheme, where you donate a portion of your taxes to a specific prefecture or municipality, and in return, you receive gifts from the area. In Iwate, the scheme is called the “Hometown Iwate Support Donation,” and starting in April this year’s gifts have been expanded to include ILC books and traditional crafts made in the coastal areas.
Those donating to the development of the Sanriku coast will receive a member’s card for the Sanriku Railway Fan Club, and can experience driving a Sanriku Railway train. Those donating to the support of Rugby World Cup 2019 will receive a wooden craft related to rugby made in Kamaishi City. Those donating to the ILC effort will receive books and taxi tours of the candidate site. Donations contributing to Iwate society and/or the reconstruction effort will be gifted a traditional craft made by an NPO on the coast. By providing gifts that are related to each possible donation, understanding and support of these projects will grow.
Starting last year in November, you are now able to select where you donations go, and gifts will vary depending on the amount and destination intended. You will able to select these new gifts when making donations starting on April 1st. Mr. Atsuya Okudera, Director of Taxation at the Iwate Prefectural Government, said, “We hope this leads to more awareness and continuing support of our initiatives.”