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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 17 - 23  > Osaka-based rightist political party misuses parliamentary allowances
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2019 July 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Osaka-based rightist political party misuses parliamentary allowances

July 21, 2019

It has come to light that the Osaka-based political party Nippon Ishin no Kai misused parliamentary allowances paid to its Dietmembers for work-related costs, although the party advocated a political reform focusing on cuts in political expenses and in the salary of Dietmembers.

Currently, under the law regarding parliamentarians’ salaries and allowances, each Dietmember every month receives the postal and communication allowance of one million yen which covers postage, telephone and other communications, travelling, and other expenses related to his/her parliamentary activities.

The illicit use of the parliamentary allowances was conducted in the following manner:

Parliamentarians of the Ishin no Kai party donated the allowance in full or in part to their political organizations, including their local branches and political fund management organizations, and issued receipts for the donations to themselves.

With the use of this tactic, Ishin lawmakers have transferred to their local branches and political fund management organizations 570 million yen of the postal and communication allowance so far, accounting for more than 70% of the total amount (760 million yen) paid to individual Ishin lawmakers. Consequently, the money was included in their political funds and used for their local branches’ activities and election campaigns and not for individual parliamentary activities. This act has a high probability of violating the law on the use of parliamentary allowances.

On top of this, although the Ishin trumpets the need to promote cost-cutting reforms affecting Dietmembers, it has never called for the abolition of the system of using tax money to provide subsidies to political parties. The Ishin no Kai party will receive a total of 1.35 billion yen in government subsidies in 2019.
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