• Kyodo


Japan’s Board of Audit said Friday that wasteful spending of tax money was at its second-lowest level in a decade in fiscal 2018, through March this year.

A total of ¥100.23 billion ($917 million) in 335 cases was either wastefully spent by government agencies and state-funded bodies or could have been spent more efficiently, according to the board’s annual report on the use of the state budget. The cases included 254 violations of laws and regulations, involving ¥5.72 billion in spending.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry was the most wasteful, followed by the Finance Ministry.

In the 10 years through 2018, the amount of wastefully spent money was at its lowest in fiscal 2016, at about ¥87.4 billion.

The auditing body focused on expenditures related to preparing for natural disasters, including typhoons and earthquakes. The board found that at disaster-prevention facilities such as floodgates and drainage pumps built using state funds, around 60 percent of electrical equipment had not undergone required seismic-resistance evaluation to prepare against massive earthquakes.

With regard to official development assistance to developing countries, the accounting watchdog found several cases in which the financial aid had not been used effectively. In a project in the Solomon Islands, a water supply facility built for ¥2 billion was not used at all because the water could not be delivered because the pipes outside the facility were broken.

The independent organization submitted its report to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday.

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