Shortly after 5:00 p.m. in mid-July, an Alphard arrived at the entrance of a hotel in Osaka City. The license plate indicated that it was an official car of Osaka City. Getting out of the back seat of the car was Mayor Ichiro Matsui, 58. Without looking aside, the mayor made his way to the floor where the hotel’s spa facilities were located.
The hotel is about a 10-minute drive from Osaka City Hall and is equipped with a spa, sauna, fitness center, and other facilities. How could he conduct “official business” at a spa facility? When I checked the “Mayor’s Schedule” on the city’s website, there was no mention of his stopover at this hotel. If it is not listed, it must have been for “personal use. According to the “automobile operation log” of the official car obtained by FRIDAY, the car stopped at the hotel 34 times between January and June of this year.
To begin with, Mayor Matsui has a “record” of using his official car to go to spas.
At the end of 2008, “Nikkan Gendai” reported that Mayor Matsui visited the facility 64 times between January and November of the same year in his official car. At that time, he was criticized for mixing his public and private life, and he was supposed to have refrained from going to the spa for a while. However, it seems that he resumed his spa visits this year, as if he has cooled down.
When we asked the Osaka City Office of Policy Planning about the appropriateness of the purpose of the use of official vehicles, we received the following response.
When we asked the Osaka City Office of Policy Planning about the appropriateness of the use of official cars, they responded as follows: “We do not see any problem with the use of official cars for transportation to and from hotels and other places after completion of official duties, taking into consideration the fact that hotels and other places are closer than home.
The city claims that the use of the car is in accordance with the standards, but there is another problem with Mayor Matsui. However, there is another problem with Mayor Matsui. A City Hall employee makes the accusation.
In May of this year, he worked only 12 days. Even when he does come to the office, he mostly comes in the afternoon and leaves at 5:00 p.m., so it can’t be said that he is doing much work, and the staff is being pushed around. Therefore, we have been told, ‘If you have a matter that requires the mayor’s approval, submit it during the council session when you can be sure of getting to work.
Mayor Matsui has only nine months left in his term as mayor after announcing his resignation as head of The Japan Innovation Party. He seems to have completely lost his motivation as a politician, as he arrives at work as president and leaves for the spa in his official car before the staff leaves.
Political journalist Koichi Kakutani said, “Matsui has lost his will to govern.
The head of Osaka City, who was elected on the promise of a “reform that takes a personal approach,” is using an official car for personal use. It would be enough to demand the return of the driver’s personnel expenses and gasoline costs. It is also a problem of the lack of checks and balances in the city council, of which the majority is made up by the Restoration Party.”
FRIDAY interviewed the mayor at 6:30 p.m. on the day he was confirmed to be in the city, after taking a bath.
–You drove to the hotel in your official car today, didn’t you?
–You have been in trouble before, but have you changed your mind?
–Is it correct to think that there is no problem?
After answering that, he got into the car that picked him up and headed home. This time, it was an Alphard belonging to Ishin. He is so deceitful.
From the August 12, 2022 issue of FRIDAY