Japanese lawmakers will be made to donate monthly allowance


Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said on Tuesday that the newly-elected lower house members will be made to donate the 1 million yen ($8,800) monthly transportation and communication allowance, which was received for October although they were elected on the last day of the month.

The new policy comes as criticism is rising over the full payment from the national coffers to those who won seats in the House of Representatives in the October 31 general election, after the opposition party took similar action, reports Xinhua news agency.

Toshimitsu Motegi, Secretary General of the LDP, said at a press conference that he believes it is “strange” for lawmakers to receive such an amount for just one day of service in the month, suggesting the party will discuss where should the money be donated, as it technically cannot be returned to the state coffers.

“We would like to take an appropriate response to avoid a situation that raises questions among the people,” Motegi said.

On Monday, Ichiro Matsui, who is the Osaka Mayor as well as the leader of the Japan Innovation Party, criticised the payment and indicated the conservative opposition party will collect the allowance from its new Diet members and donate the money to disaster-hit areas.

Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of Japan’s main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, said his party will seek to submit a bill that makes the payment of allowances on a daily rather than monthly basis.

The issue will be discussed in an extraordinary Diet session which might be convened on December 6, he added.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the LDP’s coalition partner Komeito, said he will consider a response to the issue.