In a bid to aid the recovery efforts of Kumamoto, Amazon has created a wishlist function for victims of the disaster to request for items required. However, the city’s Tatsuda Junior High School has caused an uproar after requesting for items exceeding 6 million yen (approx. USD55,000) that have nothing to do with the city or individual’s recovery.
Below are the screenshots of some of their requests.
6 units of 40″ Sharp TV at 59,800 yen each
3 units of Panasonic digital camcorder at 73,500 yen each
2 units of Canon DSLR at 64,310 yen each
Instead things like clothes, drinks, food and other daily necessities, these requests are all for luxury items. Regarding this, the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) responded on Facebook as follows.
In summary, the above content says that those seeking refuge and the elderly are lacking information source which is why they requested for expensive items like TV. It also includes digital camera and camcorders for the children when school reopens. The wishlist is just what they want to have and they are not expecting people to actually give it to them. Whether to buy it for them or not is up to other people. If they do get the items, they are very grateful.
To that, netizens feel that if they want the TV for the elderly and cameras to shoot videos and images of children, they can buy these items themselves. In representing the school to receive items for giving away to the elderly, 6 units of TV is an odd and small number.
And the school’s requests gets bigger.
700 sets of pencils, post-it notes, and sketchbook
700 sets of pens, and other stationery in units of 100
Pencil case, and writing deskpads
Multi-colored pen, scissors
Compass, correction tapes, rulers
At such large volumes, netizens are claiming that they must be thinking of selling it. From the items requested, it seems that the school is not in need of any help with regard to daily living so they think Amazon should just close this service.
But surprise, surprise! People actually bought it for them.
Seeing this, the riled up netizens began to post comments that the school is making use of people’s kindness by ordering things unrelated to Kumamoto’s recovery.
To that, an involved personnel decided to start a fight online by calling these people dumbfucks (the original term アホ can be translated in a variety of ways but if you look at the context, you would understand why I chose the term “dumbfuck”).
In summary, this guy is challenging the naysayers to go over to Kumamoto to look at the situation before commenting. He claims that after the area has gotten enough aid in terms of daily necessities, they decided to request for things that will enable children to have a smooth transition back to school life since those items were damaged during the earthquake. They have no intention to cheat people. These requests are solely at the discreet of the PTA and is in no way related to the school and Kumamoto city.
Even at the time of publishing, netizens have reported that more request of expensive items are being added to the Amazon site.
A look at the school (below) after the quake makes it hard for people to believe that they actually need 700 units each of so many types of stationery.
Netizens are wondering whether these expensive items such as DSLR and camcorders were properly kept in locked cabinets, and to whom were the six 40″ Sharp TVs distributed. Further, many of the items requested were related to brass band making many students of the school complain that other clubs in the school are not receiving any aid. From this, it would appear that the child(ren) of the PTA leader is in the brass band club.
After the dumbfuck comment drew hordes of criticism, the post has been removed and Facebook page set to private.