Hatoyama fails to list office rent in report

Kyodo News

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama did not list the rent for his private office in Tokyo in the income and expenditures report for his political fund management body, although he uses it for political purposes, documents showed Saturday.

The oversight may be a violation of the political fund control law if it is considered a donation to the body, which is called Yuai Seikei Konwa-kai.

“As the prime minister pays the rent by himself, the expenditure is not listed as an office expense,” one of his aides said.

Hatoyama opened the private office in February 2003. The office occupies two rooms on the sixth floor of a building near the Diet, and the rent is around ¥600,000 a month for each unit, bringing the annual total to over ¥10 million.

But Yuai Seikei’s fund report didn’t list the rent, reporting only ¥1.2 million to ¥3.8 million a year in office expenses from 2005 to 2008.

Under the political fund control law, a lawmaker can donate up to ¥10 million annually to his or her political fund management body. The report did not list the office rent as a donation from Hatoyama, but even if it did, it would still break the law because it is over ¥10 million.