She Had Already Been Overwhelmed
“So this is the auditorium.”
My teleportation brought me to an auditorium attached to the joint office building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Since then, I had successfully gotten the hang of teleporting in the car.
And as soon as I arrived at the joint government building, Ryuzaki-san showed me a map of the building and told me to teleport there, which I had done successfully up to this point.
Even so, I was still unconscious of the fact that I had supernatural ability.
Somehow, instead of saying, “I'm amazing”, I felt like a stranger who was handed a teleportation machine and said, “This tool is very useful”.
“Then again, everyone here has supernatural abilities….”
More than a thousand students were seated in a fan-shaped staircase set up in front of the podium, making a lot of noise.
It was quite a spectacular sight to think that they were all supernatural persons.
Dressed in various high school uniforms, they were in a strangely good mood, talking and laughing with each other as if they were best friends.
They must be showing off their abilities to each other, because they were using something that looked like abilities here and there.
–When I think about it, the ratio of people with supernatural abilities is 1 in 100.
There aren't even 10 people in one school.
It's rare to find a psychic other than yourself, isn't it?
With the declining birthrate and only about 400,000 children born each year, it would be rare to find a huge school with more than 1,000 students.
“It appears the teleportation was a success, Ikuo Okui.”
When I turned back to the entrance, Ryuzaki-san, accompanied by Uchimine, Koimai, and a grim-faced Bando, was about to enter the room with strong gait.
“I'm going to start explaining the project now.
Please take your seats.”
After urging us to be seated in a stately tone of voice, Ryuzaki-san climbed the stairs leading to the podium.
“Let's go then.”
Uchimine invited me, Koimai, and then Bando, who had somehow gotten into a good mood, to sit in the empty front row seats.
Bando was probably smiling at the rosy future that was about to befall him.
By the way, Koimai looked at me and said, ” Eh, the front row?” With a nervous face, but I read the air and sat down next to Uchimine.
Bando, who was slouched behind me at first, missed Uchimine's side due to distance and sat next to me.
From the end, Koimai, Uchimine, me, and Bando sat in that order.
–I guess I should have sat next to Koimai.
But Bando was still in a good mood.
As I patted my chest, Ryuzaki-san raised her voice from the podium.
Nowadays, with the use of microphone apps on devices, one can transmit one's voice by using an airdrop to surrounding devices and had it delivered directly to the brain.
However, Ryuzaki-san's beautiful voice was so loud and clear that it seemed to reach every corner of the auditorium without the use of a microphone.
“Everyone has gathered here today.
First of all, I would like to thank you for that.
I am Sayuri Ryuzaki, 24 years old, and I am the director of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' Extraordinary Ability Department, which was officially inaugurated in April of this year, that is, this month! Call me Director Sayuri for familiarity's sake! Oh, and the department name isn't Supernatural Power Department because it doesn't sound good!”
The auditorium broke into laughter and everyone was relaxed.
Although the atmosphere had been relaxed from the beginning.
“Now, to the point, did everyone know that Japan went into [financial collapse]?”
I knew about that.
It was the hottest news of the moment, and the TV, newspapers, and the Internet were all talking about it every day.
So much so that my mother complained, “I'm bored with all the news about the financial collapse on all the channels”.
On the other hand, it seemed that economic commentary YouTubers were making money by increasing the number of views of their videos.
As if to cut off my train of thought, Ryuzaki-san, or rather, Director Sayuri, continued to speak in a sharp voice.
“Japan's national budget is 100 trillion yen per year! But the tax revenue is 50 trillion yen.
The missing 50 trillion yen is covered by increasing the national debt by issuing IOUs called “government bonds” and having the Bank of Japan buy them.
The debt, which was said to be 1,160 trillion yen in 2020, has piled up to 200 trillion yen as of today.”
“Wait what? But I heard that the Japanese government has over ¥2,000 trillion in assets and can pay back the money anytime.”
Someone interrupted the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications bureaucrat.
At the other end of the voice, a beautiful girl with pure white hair pulled into twin-tails stood up and faced Director Sayuri with a puzzled look on her face.
“Ho, you know it well.”
“Uh-huh, Shisae is an intellectual after all.”
A beautiful girl who called herself Shisae proudly puffed out her chest.
“You are right, the Japanese government has ¥800 trillion in assets and ¥1,300 trillion in debt.
But the 800 trillion yen in assets consist of the National Diet Building and highways.
In other words, they are all things that could not be sold even if they wanted to.”
“Then why don't you just ask them to return the money they loaned to foreign countries? In other words, we are lending 1,300 trillion yen including interest.
That's what you're saying, isn't it?”
Shisae clapped her hands as if she knew what she was talking about.
However, Director Sayuri cut her off.
Japan is lending money because we are in dire need of it.
Japan is in a tight spot this year, so even if they all get together and demand the full amount be returned, foreign countries will not accept it.”
“Guh, it's pretty tough.
Oh, but I heard that Japan is not bankrupt because they owe their own debt to themselves.”
Gritting her teeth, Shisae showed a mysterious bite down the middle.
Where did this insatiable spirit come from?
But this time, things are different.”
“Let me briefly explain how Japan's debt works.”
Director Sayuri began to speak in a teacher's tone, making eye contact with Shisae, who tilted her head, not just slightly, but widely.
“First of all, a financial collapse is a situation in which the government runs out of deposits and cannot pay its bills.
However, the [Bank of Japan], commonly known as the Bank of Japan, is the [government agency] that issues the Japanese yen.
The Japanese government can raise the budget by issuing [government bonds] and having the Bank of Japan purchase them, as explained earlier, to cover the shortfall.
The amount of money purchased by the Bank of Japan is the debt.”
“Hmm? Wait a minute.
But [the Bank of Japan] is a [Japanese government agency], right?”
Shisae pressed both fists grimly against her head and was troubled.
“In other words, this is what the phrase “Japan owe itself a debt” means.”
Director Sayuri held up her index finger.
“For example, suppose there is a woman who has two wallets and puts her salary in purse A first and then transfers it to purse B when she wants to spend it.
She claims that purse B owes money to purse A.”
“Then why don't we just issue government bonds and have the Bank of Japan buy up the shortfall again this year? Why did we go into financial ruin?”
Director Hayuri sighed sadly and closed one eye, saying, “Oh dear”.
This year the idiot Bank of Japan governor said they would not buy any more government bonds.”
I saw that on the news as well.
As I recalled, the reason was that the debt was so big that they couldn't lend any more.
“But from what you just told me, we can increase our debt as much as we want, can't we? What do you mean?”
Shisae asked, as if she represented my doubts.
“I say here between us, although it has already been allegedly reported in several weekly magazines……
that Prime Minister had promised the Governor of the Bank of Japan the post of the next Minister of Finance.
However, the prime minister appointed as the next finance minister a member of the Diet who knows nothing about the economy and has only been a Diet member for a long time, through a so-called “friend appointment”.”
Director Sayuri shook her head, as if she had a headache.
“The angry Bank of Japan governor ostensibly said it was because the debt had increased too much, but behind the scenes, he said he would not buy the government bonds unless the Prime Minister apologized, and the Prime Minister refused to admit he was wrong.
The budget was half of the previous year's level.
The budget will run out in six months.
We are in complete financial ruin.”
“Uwa, that’s terrible.
So, why did we gather together here?”
Director Sayuri regained her composure and coughed.
“I'll be straight to the point.
I want you to save Japan with your supernatural abilities.”
A buzz spread through the auditorium like a ripple.
–What does it mean to save the financial collapse with supernatural ability?
“To save Japan today, mere economic policies are no longer enough.
If the problem is not solved by the end of this year, Japan will be placed under the control of the IMF, which will seize 90% of the nation's wealth in additional tax collection.
If that happens, our lives will be ruined.
That is something we must avoid.”
That, too, was reported in the news every day.
Japan's financial collapse was known throughout the world, and the value of the Japanese yen plummeted in foreign countries.
Imports could no longer be imported in Japanese yen, and the import industry was reportedly going bankrupt one after another.
Fortunately, my father worked for an export-oriented company, so he was not affected too much.
But if 90% of our property were seized, we would be in serious trouble.
If they took away our house, which would have 20 years left on the loan, where were we supposed to live?
“I'm not saying this without any proof.
I have discussed it with people with abilities I have known for a long time and it has proven to be effective for some social issues.
As soon as this briefing is over, we would like to place some of the students in jobs that we have prepared for them.
They are free to take it or not, but we guarantee a good salary.
It should not be a bad deal.”
Oh, but one more thing, why is a young government official like Sayuri-chan the leader of the Shisae and the others?”
“Because no one else wanted to do it.”
“I had already submitted this plan to the ministers for a long time.
But the hard-headed and conservative bureaucrats and politicians all insisted on what would happen if the plan failed, and that they would not entrust a high school student with a matter of national importance.
But this time, when their asses were on fire and it was about to spread all over their bodies, they finally gave the green light.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications created a new department, but no one wanted to be the director, so it was up to me, the founder of the department, to take on the job.”
What a bureaucratic thing to do, I thought to myself in dismay.
As with the exchange between the prime minister and the Bank of Japan governor, it seemed that the upper echelons of the Japanese government were corrupt to the hilt.
As if to dispel my gloomy mood, Director Sayuri spoke to us in her beautiful voice, as usual, without using the airdrop transmission by microphone application.
“I may be a young leader and unreliable, but that's why I want to make my own future! With you guys! Lend me your strength!”
Her voice, which did not pass through a device, was raw and full of emotion, and her enthusiasm was palpable.
Shisae was also impressed.
“I will now explain the problems associated with the financial collapse.
We have already decided on the tasks to be offered to each of you according to your abilities, but if there is anything that you think you can solve with your abilities, please raise your hand.”
Certainly, there were ways to utilize abilities that only he/she could understand.
While mediating the work, they also incorporate each individual's opinions and wishes.
I thought this was a good way of stimulating our motivation while reducing the feeling of being forced to follow orders.
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