It seems this is the time for rare and unusual auctions as a city in Osaka Prefecture is offering to rename itself after the highest bidder in an effort to fight its growing debt problems. Located in western Japan, the currently named Izumisano has to pay back its creditors more than 100 billion yen (approx. $1.25 billion), according to a city official speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The nearby location of the Kansai International Airport has been a big part of the problem. Built in a relatively isolated area, Izumisano had to spend a lot of money to build roads and other infrastructure. The city’s mayor feels the local government needs to look for new ways to increase its income. Far from an exciting purchase for a potential bidder, Izumisano’s only recognition is from its short distance to the airport and its towel-making industry. Oh, and its dog poop tax. The city is hoping for a sponsor willing to spend at least 1 billion yen ($12.5 million), but it isn’t as simple as handing over a duffel bag full of cash. Buyers will be required to sign a ten-year contract agreeing to make a connection to the renamed city, such a relocating their company headquarters.
The offer was actually announced back in June, but the vast majority of response they’ve gotten is from some of the city’s 103,000 residents complaining about the idea. Their argument revolves around the name Izumisano having important history, and not being something that can be bought or sold. Those of you interested have until November 30th to put in an offer, but some of us here are warming up to the idea of a city named Japandailypress. It just has a nice sound to it, don’t you think?