‘Amakudari’ rules in state institutions

Kyodo News

Almost half of the 98 independent administrative institutions that hire retired bureaucrats are run by them, documents showed Saturday.

Chiefs at 40 of the bodies came from ministries and agencies that supervised their respective independent institutions, the documents show.

The findings back Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s goal of banning retired bureaucrats from parachuting into independent administrative agencies as new executives, a corruption-prone practice known as “amakudari,” which literally means “descent from heaven.”

The documents showed that the average annual income of 29 of the chiefs, who were at their posts through the fiscal year that ended in March, came to ¥18.58 million. The highest earner was the chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization, who was making ¥22.31 million.

Of the 98 institutions, 11 are supervised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, with seven of them — including JETRO — headed by former METI bureaucrats.

Of the seven, six were led by former bureaucrats who got the jobs after working as executives or advisers at major private companies.

New exchange chief

Tokyo Financial Exchange Inc. will promote Senior Managing Director Shozo Ota, a former Finance Ministry bureaucrat, to the post of president to succeed Jiro Saito, the former ministry bureaucrat who has been nominated to become next head of Japan Post Holdings Co., exchange officials have said.

Ota will be the fourth former Finance Ministry bureaucrat in succession to preside over the exchange since its predecessor was set up in 1989.