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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > LDP, Komei, and DPJ local assembly members take overseas sightseeing trips at the expense of tax payers
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2007 February 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

LDP, Komei, and DPJ local assembly members take overseas sightseeing trips at the expense of tax payers

February 21, 2007
Local assembly members around the country, except the Japanese Communist Party, make overseas trips primarily for sightseeing purposes in the name of “inspection” at the expense of tax payers.

While in the “all-are-ruling-parties” local assemblies the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties are collaborating to push forward policies of imposing heavier burdens on local residents and cutting social welfare services, members of these parties themselves are wasting tax money.

The JCP has never taken part in such trips and has been consistently calling for those trips to be cancelled and the system enabling such trips to be drastically reviewed.

The wasteful use of tax money is well reflected in those assembly members’ own reports on their trips submitted to the respective assemblies:

- Six Liberal Democratic Party members of the Aomori Prefectural Assembly went to Italy; a half of their nine-page report consists only of photos.

- Seventeen LDP members of the Saga Prefectural Assembly “inspected” the Grand Canyon in the U.S.; although they made trips in two separate tour groups, their reports are almost identical.

- In the name of the promotion of the registration of Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage site, Yamanashi Prefectural Assembly members of the LDP and Komei parties toured overseas World Heritage sites, and submitted a report entitled, “World Heritage tour.”

In August 2004, seven Nagoya City Assembly members of the LDP and the DPJ visited Las Vegas and gambled at casinos during a “North America inspection trip,” for which the city paid 1.2 million yen each.

Faced with public criticism, these assembly members took a defiant attitude, saying that they used “private time” for gambling, and that Las Vegas is a city that offers a lot of things for Japanese to learn about.

They submitted a report in which they even proposed to establish a casino zone near the Chubu International Airport.
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