Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said Friday that the ministry will provide a numerical target for reducing its secret-use diplomatic funds in the fiscal 2002 budget, a step up from the wording used in the ministry’s reform report released Wednesday.
In the report, the ministry said it “will work to reduce (the discretionary fund) as much as possible” without providing a numerical target.
“We will provide (the) percentage of reduction in a (manner) that the public can (clearly see),” Tanaka told a news conference.
The actual number will be revealed in late December when the government draws up the budget for fiscal 2002, Tanaka said.
She also said she has confirmed that expenses for official receptions and other nonclandestine spending have been covered by the secret-use fund, and that those items will be placed in other budgetary categories.
“I was able to see some documents related to secret funds on June 1 and confirmed that there were expenses for official receptions such as those celebrating the Emperor’s birthday,” Tanaka said. “So I can be positive that the secret fund will definitely be reduced.”
Tanaka said the unused portion of the 5.57 billion yen allocated for the fund in the current fiscal year will be returned to the Finance Ministry.
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