This is the season for budgeting in Japan. Most companies and government entities end their fiscal year on March 31st. With the world economy the way it is as well as the Hatoyama administration cutting government funding, it is interesting to see all the maneuvering that is going on these last few weeks.
Working in several government based or related organizations, the first thing I’m always amazed at is the effort put into zeroing out the funds left in this fiscal year. Apparently, it is incredible bad form for leaving money on the table unspent. In some cases, the budget for the following year is reduced or in worse cases, you need to pay back double the money you did not spend.
For some entities, they are starting to allow the roll over of funds to the next year. Unfortunately, most departments will zero out their accounts by buying unneeded office supplies such as copy machines, printers or computers. Perhaps that might give the economy a slight bump this month, but the long term waste is incredible.