Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said Monday that her ministry is ready to cut the size of its so-called discretionary diplomatic funds by 30 percent to 40 percent next fiscal year in response to a series of money scandals involving diplomats.

At a news conference, Tanaka said 25 percent of the cut would be made by moving nonclandestine expenses, such as receptions and wine purchases, from the discretionary fund to other budgetary items subject to disclosure.

If cost-cutting measures are included, the ministry can save an additional 5 percent to 10 percent of the funds, bringing the total reduction to between 30 percent and 40 percent, Tanaka said.

“We still need to have some reserve discretionary funds to deal with emergencies,” she said. “But we can make reductions.”

The ministry’s discretionary funds are mainly used to gather information and are not required to be tracked by receipts. For the current fiscal year, 5.57 billion yen has been allocated.

On a separate issue, Tanaka said she will visit San Francisco on Sept. 8 to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Japan’s signing of a peace treaty that officially ended the Pacific War.

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