Should start off with a yawn on this blog post. There doesn’t seem to be a week or month that doesn’t go by without a Japanese “public servant” (self-serving), elected or appointed, who doesn’t have his hand in the public till taking advantage of their positions using tax money. Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, has been under scrutiny for dipping into the public till for personal use including “massive amounts” for overseas travel and using official government cars for visits to his vacation home.
Masuzoe was at one time a minister in the Ministry of Welfare, so I guess that would give him some good inside track on how money is accounted for and where it is stashed. This guy first came under fire last month when it was discovered he spent more than 200 million yen ($1.8 million) on eight overseas trips over two years since he became governor in 2014. Official state visits but what were the visits overseas for? Yoichi Masuzoe did visit China in 2014 working on facilitating better relations between Tokyo and Beijing. Then from the 8th to the 12th of April, 2016 Masuzoe visited the US.
Now I am wondering, did Masuzoe draw the ire of the LDP and was he exposed since it’s pretty common knowledge most powerful politicians in Japan dip into tax pools for all kinds of activities that are for the most part never reported. One reason might be May 2001 when the book ‘Princes of the Yen‘ (Japanese:『円の支配者』) on the Bank of Japan, by Prof. Richard Werner, became a number one general bestseller, Masuzoe agreed with its conclusion that “in order to end the recession and avoid future banking disasters and credit-driven boom-bust cycles, the Bank of Japan Law had to change in order to make the central bank more accountable for its policies.” Maybe Masuzoe as part of the Renaissance Party, was doing more to change the central bank of Japan’s monetary policies than was publicly known and he is now being exposed in these tax money for personal use charges?
Source: Japan Today
Tokyo governor under fire over travel expenses, car use
May 12, 2016
Tokyo Gov Yoichi Masuzoe has been in the hot seat since he was found last month to have spent massive amounts on official trips overseas and used official cars for frequent visits to his vacation home.
While the 67-year-old has been widely regarded as the frontrunner in the capital’s 2018 gubernatorial election, his path is now looking increasingly uncertain as scandals involving him show no signs of abating.
The former welfare minister first came under fire last month when it was learned he spent more than 200 million yen ($1.8 million) on eight overseas trips over two years since he became governor in 2014.
That was quickly followed by news that he used metropolitan government vehicles 48 times in about a year from April 2015 to travel either to or from a vacation home at Yugawara, a hot-spring resort area in Kanagawa Prefecture.
In the face of mounting criticism by taxpayers and other governors that he does not know the value of money and uses public resources excessively, Masuzoe apologized over the vehicle use and said he would reduce spending on overseas visits.
“I will not use official vehicles in principle from now on,” Masuzoe said on a TV program earlier this week, while saying he may still visit his vacation home.
Earlier, Masuzoe had said that he used the vehicles in accordance with applicable rules and asserted there was no problem from a crisis management standpoint with his being away from Tokyo so often as he could still be reached and issue instructions in the event of an emergency.
However, some major politicians have criticized Masuzoe’s actions.
Former Osaka Gov Toru Hashimoto wrote on his Twitter account, “It’s wrong to use official vehicles” in such a way.
Among incumbent governors, Kanagawa Gov Yuji Kuroiwa said last month he was “shocked” at the amount the Tokyo governor spent on overseas trips, while Saitama Gov Kiyoshi Ueda also said he questioned the appropriateness from the standpoint of the public.
A week-long visit to Paris and London by a Masuzoe-led delegation last autumn as part of the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics cost some 50 million yen, enough to buy a new condominium in central Tokyo.
The costs included hotel bills totaling more than 9.2 million yen and 14.4 million yen in airfares for 20 people for the period Oct 27 to Nov 2, according to documents released on the governor’s website.
The governor alone traveled in first class.
Responding to criticisms, the Tokyo metropolitan government set up on April 21 a special panel to review whether Masuzoe’s spending on past overseas trips was appropriate and whether it can be reduced in the future. It is expected to compile a report by the end of June.