On the second of April, the official website for the Japanese prime minister and his cabinet underwent a major update and redesign. According to Chief Cabinet Minister Osamu Fujimura, the update will allow them to disseminate easily understandable information to the public by gathering together all policy explanations prepared by individual agencies in one place. They have also added a section of the website aimed at children, which includes some specially developed games. The cost of all this? About 45 million yen (about $547,000). And that’s what has Japanese taxpayers’ attention.
On the popular website 2 Chan, where the news was discussed in a section appropriately called “Painful News“, users expressed both anger and disbelief at the cost of the redesign.
One user said, “That’s atrocious! At my company, we would have done it for 450,000 yen (about $5500).“
Another angrily complained, “What?! We’re not talking about remodeling the official residence here, it’s a website! How and where did they manage to rack up costs like that?“
Another user simply said, “I think I’m going to cry.“
And the phrase that kept popping up again and again was “waste of taxpayers’ money.“
In the current political climate, where the government is considering a large hike to the consumption tax to cover social policies and the enormous costs of reconstruction in northern Japan, any government expenditure perceived as wasteful is going to generate some anger, but the sheer scale of this expense has absolutely incensed the public.
Perhaps someone should tell the cabinet about WordPress…