Japanese enterpreneur Yusaku Maezawa, enfatuated by the idea of a basic income, is giving out, unconditionally, 9 million US$ to 1000 randomly selected people from his Twitter followers group. This initiative was launched on January 1st 2020, on his Twitter page.

Maezawa is hoping this “social experiment” will have an effect on his recipients happiness, as other (basic income related) experiments have already shown (ex.: Finland, India, Canada). The payment of 9000 US$ is to be done to each of these 1000 recipients, with no strings attached, who will be monitored through regular surveys to check on how this money impacts their lives.

Senior economist Toshihiro Nagahama, from the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, has said that “basic means a regular minimum amount offering a sense of security, [but] what Maezawa is offering is totally different”, referring still that the automation fears that have spurred interest in basic income have still not materialized in Japan. Maezawa, howecer, is hoping his initiative will kick-start more debate over the basic income policy in Japan.

More information at:

Sam Nussey, “Japanese billionaire Maezawa in $9 million ‘social experiment’ giveaway“, Reuters, January 8th 2020