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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 11 - 17  > Osaka Ishin assembly persons use 46 million yen in taxes for luxurious casino trips
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2018 April 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Osaka Ishin assembly persons use 46 million yen in taxes for luxurious casino trips

April 13, 2018

It has come to light that Osaka prefectural assembly persons of the right-wing Osaka governor’s party, the Osaka Ishin no Kai, used 45.7 million yen in taxes over the past five years to take luxurious overseas trips, including casino visits.

Between August 2012 and March 2017, Ishin no Kai prefectural assembly persons made overseas “inspection tours” six times. They flew business class which cost nearly 900,000 yen per person in some cases and stayed in luxurious hotels. They selected casinos and museums as visitation sites, which may arouse controversy about the purpose of their official trips.

In August 2012, for example, 15 Ishin lawmakers visited Germany and France for “inspection”, spending more than 12 million yen of Osaka people’s tax money. The itinerary of the 15-member tour included visits to casinos as well as the Orsay.

In the regular session of the prefectural assembly in February this year, an Ishin-proposed bill to reduce budget allotment for overseas trips by assembly delegations was enacted. On the day following the end of the regular session, Ishin lawmakers set out on a tour to Australia.

* * *

The House of Councilors Financial Affairs Committee on April 10 approved a bill to impose a 1,000-yen departure fee on air travelers by majority vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Daimon Mikishi opposed the bill by arguing that the government would use revenues from the “departure tax” for its profit-centric tourism strategy and to support the construction of integrated resort facilities, including casinos.
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