Here we have the sequel to the 12,000 yen give-away:
The government will give up to 39,000 yen in "eco points" to buyers of eco-friendly home appliances under a new environmental program.
If you think you can use those points to purchase more stuff, just like you would if you were shopping at a major electronics retailer, you'd be mistaken.
Under the plan, buyers of environment-friendly appliances can earn "eco-points," and redeem the points for goods or gift certificates. For example, those who buy a 46-inch digital television set can receive 39,000-yen worth of eco-points, the highest figure available, according to a release by the government.
Buyers, however, have to wait until after June, after the supplementary budget bill for fiscal 2009 passes through the Diet, to find out how to apply for the points, and are likely to be able to redeem the points in July at the earliest. Since consumers were withholding from buying products as they waited for the program to come into effect, the government decided to start the point-earning period earlier than initially set.
Are you kidding me? I'm supposed to happily fork over hundreds of thousands of yen to purchase electronics in exchange for gift certificates? Plus, I have to wait to find out how to apply for the points and for what I can redeem them? They literally have not thought this plan through.
Like the 12,000 yen give-away, eco points aren't going to boost consumption, especially when Japan's manufacturers are posting record losses, people are losing their jobs, and the government publicly mulls raising the consumption tax.