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YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Several municipalities announced Wednesday they will pay victims of spousal abuse who are unable to claim their stimulus pay because they have separated and their cash handouts are being automatically routed to the official head of the household.

The move came the same day that two abused wives living separately from their husbands filed a court injunction to stop local governments in Kanagawa Prefecture from giving ¥104,000 in stimulus pay to their spouses, who automatically get to collect the cash due to the titular technicality.

The cities, which made the announcements separately, are Kushiro, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Kyoto and Kawasaki.

In Fukuoka’s case, separated spouses who are residents of the city will get to collect the city’s cash benefits after consulting with City Hall. But in the other cases, it appears that whoever was declared head of the household will get to keep the pay of their estranged spouses anyway.

Kawasaki said it will distribute stimulus pay to such people if they are recognized as victims of domestic violence by related support organizations.

“It’s wrong that people who need (the money) the most won’t be able to get it,” Kawasaki Mayor Takao Abe said at a news conference Tuesday.

Yokohama, meanwhile, said it will use stimulus pay donated by its residents to support domestic violence victims.

On Wednesday, the two women asked the Yokohama District Court to stop the payouts under the central government’s economic stimulus plan to their alleged abusers. They claim it is unjust to give the money, which is intended for all family members, to their husbands, who, as heads of the household, are the legal recipients of the handouts.

Etsuko Saga, a lawyer representing the two, said one woman ran away from her violent husband with her two children six months ago. Her spouse lives in Yokohama.

The other woman left her husband with her two children after he threatened her. She cannot publicly reveal where her husband lives, Saga said.

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