Ex-bureaucrat given vacant, high-ranking audit post

A long-vacant, high-ranking post at the Board of Audits will be filled by a former career bureaucrat just as the government had wanted, despite cries from opposition parties against appointing an ex-civil servant to the post.

The government’s plan to name Tsutomu Sugiura, former vice minister of the Management and Coordination Agency, as one of three commissioners on the board is scheduled to be finalized next week, now that the Social Democratic Party’s executive board has officially dropped its opposition to the appointment. Sugiura is expected to get the go-ahead to assume the powerful post during a Lower House plenary session Feb. 6 with support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the SDP and New Party Sakigake.

Any appointment of a commissioner needs Diet approval. The LDP lacks a majority in both houses of the Diet and needs help from its allies to gain authorization for the personnel move.

The SDP’s reversal came after a long hesitation among party members. Senior party members agreed late last month to oppose the government plan to name Sugiura. They were influenced by the Democratic Party of Japan, the second largest opposition party, which opposes the appointment.