Bombing: Japanese town offers scallop bikini for ‘origin tax’ donations

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A scallop-shaped bikini that was recently added to Mutsu Town’s “hometown tax” return gifts can be seen in this photo provided by the Mutsu Municipal Government in Aomori Prefecture.

MUTSU, Aomori – Donate 6,000 yen (about $ 54) or more in deductible ‘hometown tax’ to this northern Japanese city and you’ll get one of its local scallop bikinis that becomes viral for being “too unique”.

Mutsu’s municipal government added the bikinis to a hometown tax return gift list on September 23, with the aim of using some of the donations in efforts to recover damage from torrential rains. last august. One official said, “We want to publicize Mutsu Town with something impactful that can support the recovery efforts in one way or another.”

According to the city government, the bikinis are made by local seafood vendor Abe Shoten, using twine and scallop shells, the town’s specialty. Items are a unisex return gift available for donations of 6,000 yen or more. September 23 alone would have seen 34 entries, with bikinis covered in news online and elsewhere.

Abe Shoten says he originally offered the bikinis as a way to profit from scallops, which saw sales decline due to the effects of the Great Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. About 100 sets are sold every year. News spread quickly after the early September 23 tweet from company chairman Manabu Abe saying bikinis had been included among hometown tax return gifts, which was retweeted 25,000 times. and gained over 37,000 likes the next afternoon.

“We would be delighted if the articles could be of assistance in the recovery of the city,” said Abe.

(Japanese original by Kenta Oka, Aomori Bureau)

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