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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 6 - 12  > Tokyo JCP criticizes governor for taking luxurious overseas trips
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2016 April 6 - 12 [POLITICS]

Tokyo JCP criticizes governor for taking luxurious overseas trips

April 8, 2016
The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members’ group on April 7 revealed that Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yoichi spent as much as 213 million yen for eight overseas trips in the two years since assuming office, and made representations to the governor to demand a stop to the wasteful use of taxpayers’ money for his trips.

At a press conference held after the representations, the JCP lawmakers provided detailed explanation regarding materials that the party had obtained through information disclosure requests. JCP assemblymember Shimizu Hideko pointed out that Governor Masuzoe used 26.63 million yen per trip on average, 10 million yen more than the average spent by former Governor Ishihara Shintaro who was also criticized for repeatedly going on luxurious overseas trips.

Explaining the reasons for Masuzoe’s costly travels, Shimizu said that he stayed in expensive hotel rooms and many people accompanied him. For example, when Masuzoe visited Berlin and London in October 2014, the total cost of air tickets was 26.29 million yen as the governor flew first class while six out of eighteen members of his delegation flew business class. In 2015, Masuzoe used a London hotel suite which cost 190,000 yen per night, which is 4.9 times higher than the upper limit set by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. In two of the eight trips, the governor reserved VIP rooms at airports, costing a total of 1.65 million yen. Shimizu stressed, “Those trips were funded with taxpayers’ money. Such a misuse of tax revenues is unacceptable.”

The JCP proposes that regarding overseas trips, the Tokyo metropolitan government should adopt all possible measures to save money, that the retinue accompanying the governor should be kept to a minimum, and that all information regarding the trips aside from personal information should be disclosed.

Masuzoe’s stance goes against the metropolitan government’s policy established in 2007 to reduce expensive official trips. The Tokyo government in its FY 2016 budget allocates 335 million yen for officials to travel abroad.

Past related articles:
> A lot of bad policies by ex-Tokyo governor Ishihara [October 26, 2012]
> Tokyo governor again made luxurious overseas trips [December 22, 2009]
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