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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 20 - 26  > Amid growing criticism, Tokyo governor takes another luxurious overseas trip
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2016 April 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Amid growing criticism, Tokyo governor takes another luxurious overseas trip

April 24, 2016
Amid growing public criticism against luxurious overseas trips, the Tokyo governor has again spent nearly three million yen in taxpayers’ money for flights and hotel charges in a six-day visit to the United States, Akahata reported on April 24.

Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yoichi toured New York City and Washington D.C. between April 12 and 18. The Tokyo metropolitan government reported that his hotel rooms for five nights cost 735,600 yen and that his flights cost 2,250,050 yen. Masuzoe was accompanied by fifteen officials but the total cost was not made public.

The governor used first class seats for the international flights and business class seats for the U.S. domestic flights. He stayed in executive hotel suites costing 140,000-150,000 yen per night, which is 3.5-3.8 times higher than the upper limit set by a Tokyo government ordinance. The metropolitan government said that Masuzoe did not use his hotel rooms to receive visits from local key figures and added that two crews of local media visited the governor in the hotels separately. The names of the media companies and the numbers of the media crew were not disclosed.

The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblymembers’ Group on April 7 announced a survey result revealing that Governor Masuzoe spent a total of 213 million yen in taxpayers’ money for eight overseas trips since taking office in 2014. Following the announcement, the metropolitan government received a total of 2,469 messages of criticism and negative opinions from Tokyoites regarding this issue.

The Tokyo metropolitan government on April 21 set up a task force to investigate expenses associated with the governor’s trips. The task force which consists of eight government officials will issue its investigation results in late June.

Past related article:
> Tokyo JCP criticizes governor for taking luxurious overseas trips [April 8, 2016]
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