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Costs for Abe’s overseas trips total ¥8.8 billion

JIJI

Costs already paid for 40 of the 41 overseas trips made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since the launch of his second administration in December 2012 total around ¥8.77 billion, a Cabinet statement showed Tuesday.

According to the statement, issued in response to a question by Nobuhiko Isaka, a Lower House lawmaker in the Democratic Party, Abe visited 92 countries and one region for a total of 204 days, accompanied by 4,643 people.

Citing security and diplomatic reasons, the government did not disclose the price or location of the most expensive accommodations Abe has stayed at.

The average cost per overseas trip comes to some ¥219 million.

The statement said that overseas trips by the prime minister have significant meaning in securing national interests and contributing to peace and stability in the international community.

It also said the government is making cost-cutting efforts, and that the price tag has been appropriate.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has been the most frequent overseas traveler in the Cabinet, visiting 72 countries and one region on 44 trips.

The cost of 43 of the 44 trips totaled ¥1.39 billion, the statement said.

The number of overseas trips by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso stood at 31 for a total of 35 countries, with the paid costs for 29 of the 31 trips totaling some ¥775 million.