• Kyodo

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The Kobe city government has decided to cut the mayor’s retirement payment because of deteriorating finances, municipal government officials said Saturday.

The roughly 52 million yen a Kobe mayor receives upon completing a four-year term is the largest retirement payment given to mayors of Japan’s 12 major cities.

The city will submit a bill to the assembly in March on reducing the payment.

Kobe’s revenues are being drained by the redemption of a massive amount of bonds issued to finance the reconstruction of the city, which was devastated by a huge earthquake in 1995.

In February, Kobe announced a state of emergency and decided to slash the monthly wages of all government employees by between 4 percent and 8 percent for a three-year period starting in fiscal 2003.

The city government also decided at that time to reduce the mayor’s monthly salary by 20 percent.

Incumbent Kobe Mayor Tatsuo Yada was elected in October last year to his first four-year term.

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