Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said she will pay about 276,000 yen out of her own pocket for canceling a hotel suite and switching to a less expensive room during an official trip to Beijing in late May, Foreign Ministry sources said Tuesday.
Tanaka decided to pay the money herself because the cancellation fee cannot be regarded as a necessary expense that would be funded from government coffers, the sources said.
Tanaka visited Beijing to attend a ministerial session of the Asia-Europe Meeting.
She initially castigated ministry officials, saying they were responsible for the cancellation as they had booked such an expensive room without her consent.
Officials who accompanied Tanaka on the trip discussed whether they would have to pay the fee themselves as it would not be covered by discretionary funds, a ministry official said.
Tanaka, however, decided to pay the fee herself after hearing a media report that the officials would shoulder the cost, the sources said.
She told the House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on May 29 that she switched from the luxury suite costing 288,000 yen a night to a 90,000 yen room.
She criticized the officials for their lack of money sense and emphasized her intention to save on expenses.
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