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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 17 - 23  > Supreme Court orders gov’t to disclose information on state secret funds
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2018 January 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Supreme Court orders gov’t to disclose information on state secret funds

January 20, 2018

The Supreme Court on January 19 ordered the government to disclose information regarding state secrets funds. This is the first judgement on this issue by the top court.

The secret funds, categorized as the Cabinet Secretariat’s compensation fund, are part of the state budget. Every month, the Chief Cabinet Secretary receives 100 million yen on average and is allowed to use the money at his/her discretion without a requirement for receipts. The expenditure is categorized into three sub-categories: expenses for the promotion of government policies, including payments to people cooperative with the government: expenses for intelligence activities such as payments to informants; and expenses for travel, gift purchases, and miscellaneous items.

The Supreme Court ruling requires the government to publish materials regarding when and how much the Chief Cabinet Secretary received in funds.

The lawsuit was filed by an Osaka-based civil group - the political funds ombudsman ten years ago. Civil group member and Kobe College professor Kamiwaki Hiroyuki noted that the government has never accepted the group’s information disclosure request, welcoming the top court decision as “epoch-making”.

Lawyer Sakaguchi Tokuo, who heads the plaintiffs’ counsel, referred to the fact that in 2009 under the Prime Minister Aso-led government, CCS Kawamura Takeo withdrew 250 million yen in secret funds from the national coffers two weeks before the landslide defeat of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the general election. Sakaguchi expressed his hope that the top court ruling will put a brake on the improper use of taxpayers’ money.

Past related article:
> Court orders gov’t to disclose secret funds information [March 24, 2012]
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