Or you could call me Al (Link).
In a story I am amazed has not made the "Japan is so weird" circuit, the Osaka Prefecture city of Izumisano (pop. 102,397) is so close to bankruptcy that it is considering putting the naming rights to the city on sale.
The contract would be for 1 to 5 years. The preferred customers are corporations whose products would be associated with the city, a spurious imitation of real company towns like Toyoda City. Non-Japanese companies are welcome to offer their bids, which can be placed anytime between June and the end of November this year. (J)
Osaka City mayor and former Osaka Prefecture governor Hashimoto Toru thinks Izumisano City's idea to be pretty nifty (J). Minister of Internal Affairs and Telecommunications Kawabata Tatsuo, by contrast, is not amused. He thinks that having a municipal area with a possibly constantly changing name would be disconcerting (J).
Of course, these naming-for-money schemes can also go awry, which is why we have such abominations as the GoldenPalace.com Monkey (Callicebus aureipalatii) (E). Ostensibly, someone with enough money could name the city after himself or herself. I am not sure that the news of the Izumisano City offer has reached Steven Colbert -- but given his past attempts to have a bridge in Hungary named after himself, among other things (E), I am sure he could be convinced to offer up Suteifuenkoruberu as a new name for the city.
As the new name would end in the title for city (shi), one temptation for the person or organization with the winning bid would be to have the new name be a joke name, such as Ekusuta(shi) or Puraiba(shi).
What would I call it, if I had the yen? What else? Emutei(shi).
Japan is not a collectivist society
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