Japan beyond 3.11 Stories of Recovery


Citizens Funds for Rebuilding

Aired: July 22, 2011
Small-lot investment funds are cropping up in the tsunami-hit region as small and medium-size companies scramble to rebuild. Citizens investing in the funds see it as a way of participating directly in the recovery of their communities. In the town of Kesennuma, a fund put together by a group of companies ranging from a soy sauce maker to a shark fin wholesaler has attracted huge interest. The minimum investment is about 100 US dollars. Half is treated as a donation and the other half will be repaid in several years. In return, investors receive gifts of products and services and regular business updates from the firms’ managers. The areas of investment have recently expanded to include agriculture, forestry and professional sports. With an estimated 14-hundred trillion yen in individual assets asleep in Japan, citizen financing just might be a way to get the Japanese economy moving again.
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