It’s less than a month until Japan’s consumption tax jumps from five to eight percent–a change few, if any, ordinary citizens are looking forward too. Practically everything is set to become more expensive in April, including some of the most fundamental necessities of life in Japan, such as train tickets, rice, Ebisu Beer, Asashi Beer, and even microbrews such as Doppo Beer.
An extensive search has produced exactly one thing related to the tax hike for us to look forward to: these adorable supplemental postage stamps.
Not even postage is spared in the tax increase, and starting next month, the price of sending a postcard within Japan will rise from 50 to 52 yen (US 50 cents), and the cost of a standard letter from 80 to 82 yen. As a result, the post office has had to release supplementary two-yen stamps.
No one likes paying more for the same things, especially in an economy with one of the lowest inflation rates on the planet. Perhaps in an attempt to soothe the anger of purchasers, the stamp’s creators went with the cutest, most docile-looking design they could: a cute little bunny rabbit.
The particular species seems to be the Lepus timidus ainu, commonly known in Japan as the Ezo snow rabbit. Both Ainu and Ezo are terms used to refer to the indigenous people of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, which is also the depicted rabbit’s natural habitat.
It’s an altogether softer choice than the previous two-yen stamp released 11 years ago, which featured an illustration of a stout Akita-inu, the breed of dog hailing from the prefecture it shares its name with.
The new two-yen stamps are available now, giving the impending tax increase a tiny silver, or more accurately white and fluffy, lining.