Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said Friday he did not pay his National Pension System premiums for eight years and one month.
Ishihara, 71, told a regular news conference that he discovered Thursday that he had missed the payments. Some of the missed payments happened while he was a Diet lawmaker.
He said he had left such matters up to his wife and a certified tax accountant. And even though the ward office had posted him a notice that the payments were in arrears, they did not notice it, he claimed.
“The responsibility for my nonpayment ultimately lies with me,” he said. “I sincerely apologize.”
Ishihara’s office said he did not pay pension premiums between April 1975 and November 1976 and again between April 1986 and August 1992.
He was not in office during the first period because he had resigned from the House of Representatives in an unsuccessful bid to become Tokyo governor.
The second period covers the time from when it became mandatory for Diet members to pay pension premiums to when Ishihara turned 60 and no longer had to make payments. He was transport minister between 1987 and 1988.
Ishihara said the current pension framework is defective because roughly 40 percent of the people who should be paying into the pension system are not.
“I hope the government will create a complete and perfect (pension) system,” he said.
Anchorman eats crow Kyodo News Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc. has announced that “News 23” anchorman Tetsuya Chikushi will not appear on the show for the time being — in light of his failure to pay pension fees.
Chikushi, who had lambasted some ministers on the show for ducking their pension payments, said Thursday that he was ashamed of having failed to make his own national pension contributions for two years and 11 months.
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