Japan to cut lawmakers' pay by 20 percent amid virus crisis


Senior Japanese ruling party and opposition officials agreed Tuesday to reduce lawmakers’ salaries by 20 percent for a year as part of efforts to overcome the novel coronavirus crisis.

The accord was reached at a meeting between Hiroshi Moriyama, Diet affairs chief of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, and Jun Azumi, parliamentary affairs head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

Both the ruling and opposition sides are expected to agree with the plan. They are likely to step up efforts to amend a law on lawmakers’ salaries to start the reduction as early as next month.

Under the law, the members of both chambers of the Diet are paid ¥1,294,000 a month. A 20 percent cut would lower the amount to ¥1,035,200.

“We can very well understand difficulties the public is facing and the circumstances companies are in,” Moriyama told reporters, saying that it is important that lawmakers and the people come together to deal with the virus crisis.

Azumi said, “We’ll take into account the plight of the public and set an example ourselves.”

Prior to the meeting, senior officials of major opposition parties including the CDPJ had agreed on a lawmaker salary cut.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, and Takashi Endo, Diet affairs head of opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), have also proposed a 20 percent pay cut.

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