The Tokyo High Court on Monday dismissed an appeal by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in an information disclosure lawsuit, ruling that the government should disclose expense documents for overseas trips by Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members.
The government argued that disclosure of the documents of the assembly, which is independent of the government, would damage trust between it and the administration.
However, presiding Judge Nobuo Kono, in upholding a district court ruling in January, said disclosure should be based on “rationality from the viewpoints of residents of Tokyo,” not on the relations between a local administration and assembly.
Monday’s ruling could affect information disclosure systems in other local governments, many of which have refused to disclose information about assemblies and local police, saying they are separate from the administration and therefore not obliged by information disclosure ordinances.
But citizens’ groups across the country have been calling for disclosure of expense documents for overseas trips by assembly members. They say the purpose of many tours is not to study administrative measures as officially claimed but for sightseeing.
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