Measures fail to halt ‘amakudari’

Former senior government officials headed 70 of the 105 independent administrative agencies and 23 of the 47 public corporations in Japan as of April 1, the government said Tuesday.

Excluding the top posts, former bureaucrats also occupied 292 of the 469 executive posts at the independent administrative agencies and 147 of 389 such posts at public corporations, it said.

These numbers indicate that the practice of “amakudari,” or descent from heaven, is till prevalent, with senior government officials getting executive posts at government-backed organizations after retirement.

The government decided in March to limit former bureaucrats’ share of executive posts at these organizations to 50 percent.

The percentage target was achieved for public corporations, but former bureaucrats still accounted for 66 percent of top posts and 62 percent of other executive posts at independent administrative agencies.

Between April 1 and June 16, eight former bureaucrats were named to head independent administrative agencies and three to head public corporations.