The Diet enacted revisions to a set of laws Wednesday to cut the salaries of national government employees for the current fiscal year, as recommended by the National Personnel Authority.
The reductions include an average 2.1 percent cut in monthly salaries for judges — their first pay cut under the Constitution, which was adopted in 1947 and prohibits a salary cut for judges — as well as prosecutors.
Pay cuts for lawmakers of both Diet chambers will be kept at 10 percent, as already carried out for a 12-month period starting last April, and not increased as a result of the revised legislation.
The House of Councilors on Wednesday approved the revisions of five laws, which separately set the salaries for judges, prosecutors, Diet members, secretaries to lawmakers and Defense Agency employees. The House of Representatives approved them earlier this month.
In September, justices of the Supreme Court backed the pay-cut proposal despite clauses in the Constitution prohibiting such a move, saying it would not undermine the independence of the judiciary or endanger the livelihood of judges.
Article 79 of the Constitution states that all Supreme Court justices “shall receive . . . adequate compensation, which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.” Article 80 contains a similar provision for judges in lower courts.
Lawmakers, who were effectively exempt from the National Personnel Authority recommendation because their salaries had been cut from April, plan to discuss separately how to handle their pay cuts for the next fiscal year.
Because monthly salaries paid before the enforcement of the law cannot be cut retroactively, the balance will be reduced from the bonuses to be paid in December, government officials said.
According to Finance Ministry estimates, the government could save 241 billion yen from the initial budget for the current fiscal year after implementing the pay cuts.
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