Tokyo: Despite being elected on the final day of the month, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced Tuesday that it will require new lower house members to give the 1 million yen (USD 8,800) monthly transportation and communication allowance they got for October.
The policy follows a similar approach by an opposition party and comes amid mounting criticism over the full sum paid out of national coffers to those who won seats in the House of Representatives in the general election on October 31. Toshimitsu Motegi, the LDP Secretary-General, said during a press conference that receiving such a large sum for just one day of duty is "abnormal."
"We would like to respond appropriately to avoid a situation that causes people to be confused," Motegi remarked. He stated that the party will determine where to send the funds, which cannot be returned to the public treasury under state law. Natsuo Yamaguchi, the leader of the LDP's coalition partner Komeito, said the party will likewise collect and contribute the 1 million yen from newly elected lawmakers.
On Monday, Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, who leads the Japan Innovation Party, slammed the payment, saying the conservative opposition party will collect the allowance from new Diet members and send it to disaster-stricken areas, among other things.