Tokyo: Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has expressed his intention to fully disclose after a certain period how discretionary funds, the use of which has
thus far been cloaked in secrecy, were spent.
"We will check all the expenses from April. We should disclose in full how they were used after appropriate years and months pass," Hatoyama said yesterday at a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said last November that the government would decide on whether to disclose such information after studying the expenditures covered with the discretionary funds for the fiscal year
At yesterday`s committee meeting, Hatoyama said, "We must map out a picture of the administration open to the public."
Hatoyama said, however, it would not necessarily be appropriate to disclose such information immediately, suggesting that the government will carefully consider the
period after which the information can be disclosed.
Discretionary funds, state money used at the discretion of the chief Cabinet secretary, are said to have been used to collect intelligence within Japan and abroad, and for informal negotiations over cases such as abductions of Japanese nationals overseas.
The previous government led by the Liberal Democratic Party tightly guarded how the funds were being used, leading critics to argue that their use was unclear.
Hatoyama`s Democratic Party of Japan submitted a bill to parliament in 2001 to require disclosure of how the funds were used after a certain period.