Many people are being asked to refrain from going back to their home countries during Japan’s Golden Week holiday, which began at the end of April. Therefore, the local government has been sending local rice and other foodstuffs to university students outside the prefecture and young working people from the local area.
Young people are unable to work part-time due to the coronavirus and are struggling to make ends meet. So Niigata, Toyama, and Mie prefectures have been supporting them by send care package from local food.
in Tsubame City, Niigata
In the middle of April, Tsubame City (燕市) in Niigata started an activity to send locally produced “Koshihikari” rice, cucumbers, miso, etc. to students from Tsubame City who live outside the prefecture. This is an initiative started by volunteers in Tsubame City.
\燕市は帰省を自粛する学生の皆さんを応援します/— 東京つばめいと＠燕市公式 (@tokyo_tsubamate) April 16, 2020
A letter from Mayor Suzuki stating, “I am very sorry that I have to ask you not to return to your hometown now,” was enclosed, along with a mask. This was sent out free of charge to students who applied, for a total of about 500 people.
A representative from the city said, “There are many people living in uncertainty, so we hope that this program will help them to make a living, even if only a little.”
帰省自粛の燕市出身学生500人に背脂ラーメン発送 https://t.co/Hwk5m2yIBZ— ケンオー・ドットコム (@kenohcom) April 28, 2020
The posts on SNS by young people who have already received the care package are getting a lot of response.
The response was so great that a second round of support will be given to Tsubame City’s soul food “Seabura Ramen (背脂ラーメン)”. Matsumoto CEO of the provider, “ShuMentei Jun (酒麺亭 潤)” has two children who are in their second year of working in the restaurant industry in Tokyo.
Mr. Matsumoto said, “I felt sad when I told the children not to come back now. I told them I would send them ramen noodles and they were delighted. I thought that there are many young people like this, and I wanted to encourage the Tsubame city and the young people”.
in Toyama prefecture
It was announced that 2 kilograms of branded rice “Fufufu (富富富 ふふふ)” will be distributed free of charge to 16,000 students and working people living outside the prefecture. Toyama Prefecture will start sending these out in early May to young people who have sent in a request to receive them.
Fufufu is a new type of rice grown in Toyama Prefecture. This is a delicious rice that is resistant to disease, even in the heat of the summer, which can lead to a decline in quality. The name of Fufufu expresses the sense of happiness one feels after having eaten this rice. 😊
in Shima City, Mie
Shima City aims to support young people’s livelihoods, while at the same time increasing their attachment to local products and maintaining the population associated with Shima City.
-Koshihikari rice in Toba Shima, “Shima-Sodachi (志摩そだち)” /5kg
-Funakoshi miso /700g
-Tuna Keema Curry” /150g
-Dried Seaweed Nori (Aosa nori) in Ise-Shima /20g
-Furikake with hijiki
-Shima hijiki dry pack *Hijiki is a brown sea vegetable.
-Cloth masks (manufactured in Shima City. Antibacterial and deodorizing.)
Shima City will deliver 1,000 sets of food and masks worth 5,000 yen for seven items to young people. By the way, Shima’s “Aosa Nori” is the largest producer in Japan.
In addition, some information about support from the Japanese government and local communities is being released little by little (and slowly). I hope that the coronavirus mess will subside as soon as possible.