Panel questions benefits of lottery programs

Kyodo News

The Government Revitalizastion Unit has urged that lottery-related programs conducted by the Japan Lottery Association and four other public-interest corporations be abolished, saying the benefits of the programs are unclear.

The government office, tasked with cutting wasteful spending, also proposed that the internal affairs ministry refrain from approving lottery sales until a number of problems, including large salaries paid to retired bureaucrats who have landed jobs at such organizations, are resolved.

When the unit reviewed 28 programs at 20 corporations Friday, reviewers’ criticism was mostly leveled at the murkiness over the benefits of their operations and the large sums of money paid to former bureaucrats hired by the lottery-related corporations, a practice known as “amakudari.”

Those representing the lottery-related corporations, including the Japan Center for Local Autonomy and the Japan Municipal Development Corp., defended their operations, saying they are being implemented appropriately.