'Where's the wagyu?' Return gifts full of fat draw donor complaints


Wagyu full of fat, sent as gifts by some municipalities in return for tax-deductible donations, has drawn a flurry of donor complaints.

The town of Misato in Miyazaki Prefecture and the city of Ichikikushikino in Kagoshima Prefecture apologized to those who made donations under the furusato nōzei (hometown tax donation) program regarding the beef in question.

Misato, which made 800 grams of sliced Miyazaki kuroge (Japanese black cattle) wagyu available as a gift to those who donated ¥10,000 or more to the town, came under fire after a man posted a photo of what he received on Twitter on Oct. 5, together with a note saying that most of it was fat.

The town offered an apology on its website. A company processing and selling meat in the prefectural capital had sent the beef to 40 donors since July, according to the town.

Citing lax quality management at the company, Misato removed the beef from its list of gifts from which donors can choose. It plans to send replacements to donors who want the beef they received to be exchanged.

Ichikikushikino received more than 100 complaints over its gift of one kilogram of sliced Kagoshima kuroge wagyu sent during the year through March. Donors complained about the beef containing too much fat and shipments being delayed.

The beef was handled by a meat-selling company in Kagoshima’s capital, the city said.

A surge in the number of requests for the beef gift since early October last year caused the city to stop taking requests for the item. The meat company said it was not able to handle the volume of orders, which was beyond what it had anticipated.

In response, the city took measures such as offering replacements for the beef gifts.

Ichikikushikino apologized to the donors, and pledged to improve its oversight in collaboration with the company.