This is the reason why Japan is the role model of the world.
In December 2018, a Japanese company launched an ‘umbrella-sharing’ system called iKasa in Tokyo where members of the public can rent umbrellas strategically located in convenient stores and shops across the city. The renting process is fairly simple as well and all they need to do is:
- Add iKasa account as a friend on LINE
- Press the ‘Rent an Umbrella’ button
- Click on a spot that’s close to your current location. Then, check if the place is open and if there are any free umbrellas
- Proceed to the spot, scan the QR code on the handle and the umbrella is yours for the day
- Once you’re done using it, scan the QR code at the return stand
Customers will be charged 70Yen (approx. RM2.50) per day on their pre-registered credit card. However, should they forget to return it on the same day, it will incur extra charges. That said, once the charges snowballs to 420Yen (approx. RM15), customers can keep the umbrella and don’t have to return it anymore. They would’ve basically bought the umbrella!
This system has been running for a few months now and the management was happy to report that the return rate for the umbrellas is 100 per cent, which impressed netizens worldwide because similar initiatives have been carried out in other countries like China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia before this and the results were pretty embarrassing.
For instance, in 2018, property developer Aspen Group placed 4,000 free umbrellas at 12 bus stops and five schools in Penang for those who need to shield themselves from sunlight and rain. It was hoped that the users would return them after using but sadly, all 4,000 of them went missing. Yikes!
This story has shown just how civic-conscious the Japanese are and hopefully, Malaysians could take a page from their book.
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