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Western Japan city mistakenly pays 100,000-yen virus relief aid twice to 2,196 residents

This file photo shows 100,000 yen in cash. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

NEYAGAWA, Osaka -- The municipal government of this western Japan city mistakenly distributed 100,000-yen handouts twice to a total of 2,196 residents in 993 households, as part of the national government's relief measures amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Keisuke Hirose issued an apology over the error during a press conference on May 28, and requested that the excessive amount, totaling 219.6 million yen, be returned.

The city accepted applications made online and by mail among other means, and managed them in a master database while looking out for input errors such as accidentally leaving out information or entering the same data twice, according to the Neyagawa Municipal Government. A total of 110,528 households in the city, or 80% of the total number, had finished applying by May 24, and the city began to make final confirmations the following day. Although money transfers had already been completed for 993 households, the records were not reflected in the database for some reason, resulting in doubled payments for these households.

City officials are contacting the households by phone and other means to apologize and ask the parties to take repayment procedures.

Mayor Hirose commented, "I am very sorry to have inconvenienced residents who received the wrong amount despite our attempts to deliver the handouts as soon as possible."

(Japanese original by Sanae Kameda, Osaka City News Department)

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