Parliament in Japan has passed legislation to give a cash hand-out to every resident in an attempt to boost the economy which is in recession.
Most people will get at least 12,000 yen, equal to about $NZ238, under the Y20 billion plan.
But there are fears many Japanese, who have a strong tradition of saving, will hang on to the cash and not spend it.
The hand-out forms the centrepiece of a stimulus package to revive Japan's economy, which is in a far sharper recession than the United States or Europe.
GDP fell by 3.3% in the final quarter of 2008.