Gasoline bill “equivalent to circumnavigating the globe four times” in one year! …The Japan Innovation Party Representative’s Alleged “In All Sense, Too Much Expenditure | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Gasoline bill “equivalent to circumnavigating the globe four times” in one year! …The Japan Innovation Party Representative’s Alleged “In All Sense, Too Much Expenditure

Over 2,050,000 yen in one year for gasoline! Experts say that "no matter how you think about it, the expenditure is too much

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Mr. Inoue’s political fund balance report. It is clear at a glance that he frequently spent money on gasoline. The total amount exceeded 2,050,000 yen.

I was surprised when I saw the political fund balance report. His constituency is a small area of about 5 km from north to south and 10 km from east to west, and it is easy enough to get around by bicycle. Despite this, this amount of money for gasoline is unbelievable.

The high cost of gasoline has aroused the suspicions of Hidetaka Inoue, 51, a member of the Japan Innovation Party’s House of Representatives, who was elected to the Osaka 1st Constituency.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in the 2012 election after switching from the Liberal Democratic Party to The Japan Innovation Party. In 2003, it was discovered that about 12 million yen in party subsidies had not been reported on the political fund balance sheet. He explained that he had mistakenly thought he did not need to record the amount, and corrected the mistake.

According to the political fund balance report of the “Japan Restoration Association, House of Representatives Osaka First Constituency Branch,” of which Inoue is the representative, he spent over 2.05 million yen on gasoline and approximately 860,000 yen on expressway tolls in 2009. The average price per liter of regular gasoline that year was 154 yen, according to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. If fuel consumption is calculated at 12 km per liter, this means that the car traveled 160,000 km, which is equivalent to circling the globe four times.

In 2004, Ms. Shiori Yamao of the Democratic Party of Japan (party and name at the time) listed 2.3 million yen for gasoline in her political fund balance sheet, and it was discovered that her secretary had misused the money.

When we asked Inoue’s office about the high gasoline expenses, they responded, “We have been working on a passenger car project mainly in Osaka’s 1st Constituency.

“Four passenger cars (Toyota Alphard, Toyota Estima, Nissan Note, and Toyota SPADE) and six city advertising vehicles were used for political activities, mainly in the Osaka 1st Constituency.” Since late 2008, we have shifted our gasoline payments to a month-to-month contract, which is cheaper than cash payments. There is no personal use of gasoline money.”

However, according to another parliamentary secretary whose constituency is Osaka’s 1st Constituency, his annual gasoline bill is about 1 million yen at most, and has never reached 2 million yen. Hiroyuki Kamiwaki, a professor at Kobe Gakuin University and an expert on political fund issues, pointed out, “In a small area like Osaka’s 1st Constituency, gasoline is not used.

Gasoline costs of 2,050,000 yen a year in the small area of Osaka’s 1st Constituency is an excessive amount of money,” he said. It is no wonder that the amount may include his personal expenses. Including gasoline expenses used for non-political activities in the political fund income and expenditure report may constitute a misstatement. This is a case where detailed accountability is required.”

The Japan Innovation Party is committed to “cutting one’s own throat” reforms, which are set by the example set by politicians. Inoue should straighten his collar and refrain from any behavior that could raise suspicions.

Mr. Inoue asks a question at a plenary session of the House of Representatives in April of this year. He is from Osaka City and was a member of the rugby club in high school and college.

From the September 8, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text by Masayoshi Katayama PHOTO Kyodo News (Mr. Inoue)

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