Japan Mulls Revising Law on Govt Workers’ Travel Expenses

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is considering revising the law on travel expenses of national public servants, in response to soaring costs of overseas trips amid the yen’s depreciation and price increases, informed sources said Sunday.

Calls have been growing for revising the law that sets the standards for trip expenses as government employees going on trips for work have been frequently forced to make expensive out-of-pocket payments to make up for costs not covered by the state.

The Finance Ministry and the Foreign Ministry have already started discussions on the law revision, the sources said.

The law was enacted in 1950. Its provisions about accommodation expenses and daily allowances have not been revised since 1984.

For example, for a hotel stay in Washington or London, ¥25,700 is provided to a vice minister or bureau chief-level official and ¥16,100 to a regular staff member. “The standards do not fit the actual local situation,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said.

Stressing the need to swiftly correct the situation, Shunsuke Takei, state minister for foreign affairs, said, “It is indispensable to improve the environment in order to allow officials to engage in diplomatic activities flexibly.”