JAPAN: Public Highway Corporation Spends Over 1 million Yen to Treat Politicians

9 May 2003

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Japan Public Highway Corporation spent a total of 1.47 million yen to wine and dine 11 lawmakers on 17 different occasions between fiscal 2001 and 2002.

Documents, obtained under the Japanese Information Disclosure law, show that the public corporation spent about 77 million yen on entertainment, including the meetings with the 11 politicians, over the two years. It spent 51.98 million yen in fiscal 2001 and 25.36 million yen in fiscal 2002.

The Political Funds Control Law prohibits the public corporation and other government-related organizations to donate money for political activities. The lavish meetings, held at expensive Japanese-style restaurants and hotels, might be in violation of this law.

In 11 of the 17 meetings, the public corporation spent more than 10,000 yen for each participant. Alcoholic beverages were reportedly often served during the meetings.

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