During the 2nd general meeting of the Mitaka City council of Reiwa 3 (2021), the city announced its plan to help the struggling Ghibli Musuem during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as raise funds for the musuem to aid in reconstruction and repairs. Mitaka City is looking to raise 10 million yen (US$91,652) to help out the musuem via the Japanese government’s Furusato Nozei Program, also known as the “Hometown Tax system”.
The report from Mitaka City states that since the museum opened in October 2001, the attraction has brough joy to people from all around the world, but in Feburary 2020, the museum closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and since then, even though the museum has re-opened, the limited number of people allowed in at any one time has greatly decreased the revenue for Ghibli and the hampered the running of the muesum. Because of this lack of revenue, the museum has been unable to keep up its preservation and repairs.
Mitaka’s plan is to utilize the “Poki” character that was drawn by Hayao Miyazaki for Mitaka City on the opening of the muesum on brand new goods that will be given out to people who donate through the Furusato Nozei Program. The program is a system that lets anyone in Japan donate to any town/city/region in the country, and in return, they receive an item native to that region. What’s more, due to how the progtam works, it’s fully tax-deductible come tax time, where the Japanese government will return the full amount you donated minus 2,000 yen (US$18) as an administration fee via tax breaks. Usually, people receive local rice, or sake, maybe meat in return for their donation, or in the case of Toyosato Town, you can get exclusive K-ON! merchandise.
(Photo: Daryl Harding)
Mitaka City wants to raise at least 10 million yen (US$91,652) for the Ghibli Museum, and have broken down how the money will be used. 8,340,000 yen (US$76,438) will be given over the the museum for operation support and repairs and 1,660,000 yen (US$15,214) will be used for office expenses and salaries. Mitaka City will also use 655,000 yen (US$6,003) of the city’s money to help the Poki character by making wallpapers, putting up posters in local libraries, and other educational material.
For those who donate, Mitaka City will send out an exclusive thank you card. The city already uses the Poki character on a special handtowel through the Furusato Nozei program, though the new goods, which are set to be available from the end of June, will directly help the Ghibli Muesum.
© 1988 Studio Ghibli
© 2001 Studio Ghibli・NDDTM
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.