politics

Law says Masuzoe can't decline Y3.8 mil summer bonus

64 Comments

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe will receive a summer bonus of 3.8 million yen despite escalating public anger over his alleged inappropriate spending of political funds.

The bonus is part of the governor’s annual income and under the Public Office Election Law, he doesn’t have the right to decline it even if he expresses his wish to, Fuji TV reported.

Masuzoe’s monthly salary is 1,456,000 yen, and with winter and summer bonuses, his annual income is about 29 million yen.

Masuzoe has come under intense media and national criticism over lavish outlays on overseas business trips, online auction purchases and accommodation at high-end hotels and spas, which were revealed one after another since April.

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64 Comments
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Yes he can...,...QUIT! No bonus!

8 ( +13 / -4 )

Gee only 29 million Yen a year? That is just 8 or 9 times what an average worker makes, no wonder he had to defraud taxpayers to pay for his luxury junkets and antiques, that stuff ain't cheap.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

And what does he give us for 29,000,000 yen per annum?

10 ( +14 / -4 )

And what does he give us for 29,000,000 yen per annum?

Do you live in Tokyo now? Doesn't really matter what he does or doesn't do to people living in Okinawa. It's just popcorn time entertainment watching the mighty fall.

-14 ( +5 / -18 )

Despite his earnings, he still took these liberties with excessive expenses...

How about the bonus being kept as a down payment on what he will pay back ? He wants a lawyer to point out where he 'may' have done wrong - his moral compass is non-existent.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Not to play devil's advocate, but the sad thing is that given how things work in Japan, I can understand why a law not permitting employees to decline their salaries is in place. Because otherwise, employers would probably ask their employees to decline their salaries. And some of them would.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Law says Masuzoe can't decline Y3.8 mil summer bonus

Ok. Accept the bonus. Then donate it to the public. If you really want to be honest.

Its funny how japanese politicians CANT delcline a bonus while 40% of the working populace doesn't even have that option cause they don't get one.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

I can understand why a law not permitting employees to decline their salaries is in place. Because otherwise, employers would probably ask their employees to decline their salaries.

Somehow, I have a very hard time believing elected officials are under intense scrutiny to "decline their salaries."

The bonus is part of the governor’s annual income and under the Public Office Election Law,

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What kind of law makes it maditory for a criminal to take a bonus? Where's the flexibility of denying a bonus to politicians who were caught steeling money from U.S. tax payers?

A law can be change at the blink of an eye if there were enough public and political outrage, but sadly, I doubt we will have either.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I get your point, katsu78, but this seems to be a very specific law - the Public Office Election Law - and not a general law on employment. It is amazing though that there is such a law that specifically states about refusing bonuses but seems to say nothing about what constitutes rorting of expenses. In fact, the vagueness in this regard seems to be exactly why Masuzoe hopes to face this down.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I did not know that In Japan there is a law to force a politician to accept money but no law to arrest criminal politician agreeing diverting public money for private use, no wonder the whole system is corrupted.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Ah, Japan. Where wrongdoing is either denied or justified! Disgraceful, yet unsurprising.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wow this scumbag makes 14k a month and he's up for a 40k bonus and he is still swindling us. I just can't comprehend the mindset that can be that apathetic to the poor and that self entitled.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

He earned money. So. What he can do is give as much as he embezzled back to Tokyo to avoid to eeeat jail food.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If there is a public outrage about the compensation for public officials, the law (Public Office Election Law) can be changed for more equitable compensation in the future. I agree it would be valuable for the Mayor to donate this money to public service.

The link below is an interesting story about how public opinion changed the law. However people seem to think they can't do anything about the hierarchy here. This is the most disappointing thing to me and when I think about the youth growing up.

http://globalnews.ca/news/916736/bc-ferries-sky-high-salaries-and-bonuses-under-fire/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do not see a issue here, Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe can donate the sum of 3.8 million yen to help relieve the hardships of tens of thousands that had to move into evacuation centers after the Kumamoto quake. The man is a shameless public disgrace to his office.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

His Summer bonus alone is slightly more than the average annual income for Japanese households, and he still has to steal from public coffers? How many other politicians are doing the same thing? It's time for an investigation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Perfect timing for the opposition to take this to the summer election. " Vote for us and we will.change this law so swindler politicians and public servants can not only be denied a bonus but can and will be sued for the money missapropriated. Kaboom, election vote winner.

Meanwhile, I'm.sure there is no law preventing Matsuzoe to donate this to a suitable charity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the governor of Tokyo makes almost as much money as the POTUS and I have to pay money to use public parks? The ruling class has totally fu*ked Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yearly income of 29 million, not including brown envelopes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Is he able to at least donate his money? Either to the city directly or through a charity?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course Masuzoe is free to donate his bonus to Tokyo city after he receives it. He won't do that though as he is a greedy crook.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

His Summer bonus alone is slightly more than the average annual income for Japanese households,

No it isnt, not even close. More than the average in Okinawa, but not even close to the national average. which sits at about 5.4 million yen per household right now.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

National average is 4.2 million yen according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bonus and salary are in different account. He can publicly pay back what he stole.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's interesting how Japanese legal system and culture in general make fuzzy rules that anybody trapped into could escape without a scratch. Bravo!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

National average is 4.2 million yen according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Do you know the difference between average income and average household income? Reading comprehension helps.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Good old Japan. I'd like to see the people who call people who point this kind of ridiculous law "bashers" explain why this is such a necessary and good law, and why Masuzoe simply MUST receive the bonus.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its funny how japanese politicians CANT delcline a bonus while 40% of the working populace doesn't even have that option cause they don't get one.

The term "bonus" in Japanese does not mean what it does in English. The Japanese term "bonus" is colloquial. The term is not used on the detailed statement of payments and deductions that you receive each month when you are in salaried employment in Japan nor is it used on tax forms. These payments are generally referred to as kisetsuteate (seasonal payments) often with some designation of the time period such as nenmatsuteate (year end payment). (There are other technical terms. I don't have my pay slips handy to check.)

These payments are NOT performance related in the public sector or in private universities. For example, I get roughly 18 months salary per year consisting of 12 monthly payments and three "bonuses" of N.N months paid three times per year. This is, I believe, a very standard pattern for salaried employment.

As one indication that the "bonus" is just part of your regular salary paid on a seasonal rather than a monthly basis, I would point out that banks calculate your annual income as your 12 monthly payments plus your bonus payments. In other words, the bonus is not seen as performance related and variable although companies have been known to defer bonus payments when they are in trouble

Good old Japan. I'd like to see the people who call people who point this kind of ridiculous law "bashers" explain why this is such a necessary and good law, and why Masuzoe simply MUST receive the bonus.

My guess (as time permits I will look for the history of the law) is the same as that of another poster. Namely, that acceptance of the bonus is compulsory because some companies or government agencies might try to claw it back.

It's interesting how Japanese legal system and culture in general make fuzzy rules that anybody trapped into could escape without a scratch. Bravo!

Only Japan? How many people went to jail in the US and the UK as a result of the 2007-2008 sub-prime mortgage scam?

the governor of Tokyo makes almost as much money as the POTUS and I have to pay money to use public parks? The ruling class has totally fu*ked Japan.

More so in Japan than other countries? Have you looked at what corporate executives in the US get? Many football coaches in US state universities make more than the POTUS and the governor of Tokyo combined.

What kind of law makes it maditory for a criminal to take a bonus?

You have to be convicted of a crime before you are a criminal, even in Japan.

A law can be change at the blink of an eye if there were enough public and political outrage, but sadly, I doubt we will have either.

Laws might change at the blink of an eye in North Korea or communist China. Fortunately, Japan does not work that way.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

the pay is rather modest for the leader of an economy the size of Tokyo, i would be more upset about his lavish use of the "perks" costing several multiples of that,,,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bullfighter: "My guess (as time permits I will look for the history of the law) is the same as that of another poster. Namely, that acceptance of the bonus is compulsory because some companies or government agencies might try to claw it back."

If such is the case I can see the government being unable to refuse to pay as part of the law, but the recipient being unable to refuse it is ridiculous. I understand that people could be pressured into refusing it as a result, as Masuzoe should DEFINITELY be, but still.

"Only Japan? How many people went to jail in the US and the UK as a result of the 2007-2008 sub-prime mortgage scam?"

Notice the key point of your question here: "went to jail". Given that this guy is even still in office and will NEVER go to jail for what he's done, then, yes, ONLY Japan. But feel free to point out where such people doing such things not only don't see jail but refuse to give up their jobs (and get a "shouganai" at worst), and you might have something.

"Laws might change at the blink of an eye in North Korea or communist China. Fortunately, Japan does not work that way."

Yeah, the criminals here get away with it, and are even rewarded. Not really something to be proud of, bullfighter.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The law says Masuzoe can't decline the Y3.8 mil summer bonus ... but there must be some provision in the law that says he has to leave if he robs the citizens of Tokyo of their tax money. Why doesn't Tokyo hold some kind of a referendum to see if the folks of this city want to keep Masuzoe or not. I think the results of such a referendum would see the law saying that Masuzoe has to go ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@edojin:it is his bonus and payroll has to pay for him. Payroll distribution depth does not have authority to use his bonus to pay his criminal embezzlement payback. That, criminal court has too handle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bullfighter, my post was supposed to read: What kind of law makes it maditory for a criminal to take a bonus? Where's the flexibility of denying a bonus to politicians who were caught steeling money from "us" tax payers? Not U.S. tax payers.

As a friend once joked, "auto correction has become my worst enema!"

As for you saying he hasn't been convicted, that is true but he WAS caught and HAS admitted to the wrong doing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What kind of law makes it maditory for a criminal to take a bonus?

What kind of law convicts a person before any trial happens?

-1 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, the criminals here get away with it, and are even rewarded. Not really something to be proud of, bullfighter.

Which criminals get away with what? Do you have any solid evidence that white collar criminals get away with more in Japan than in other countries?

In 2009 there was a large scale scandal in Britain involving a number of parliamentarians fiddling their expense accounts, even paying for porn with taxpayer money. Most got off on technicalities, some paid restitution amounting to half a million pounds total and apologized, four got short jail terms.

Any common person who stole as much as these buggers did would still be in the clink and common people don't get off by saying "I'm sorry."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_parliamentary_expenses_scandal

As for you saying he hasn't been convicted, that is true but he WAS caught and HAS admitted to the wrong doing.

Indeed, but "wrong doing" and "criminality" are two different things. Personally, I think he is a scum bag, but he has to be indicted and convicted before what he did is branded "criminal." Read through the UK case cited above and you'll see the difference. Many parliamentarians admitted "wrong doing" but only four were prosecuted and convicted.

Time to quite depending upon the ENglish press for information.

Indeed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Personally, I think he is a scum bag,

I agree, and even though he is a scumbag, he has the right to have his day in court, contrary to JT opinion.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What kind of law convicts a person before any trial happens? Japanese police interrogations and forced confessions is basically the same thing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is absolutely disgusting. Every day this crook remains at large is an abomination. He embezzled public money. He was caught. A clear cut case as any I've ever seen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So does that make it illegal if he doesn't accept it? It must be nice to hide behind that law. It is clear to see who these regulations benefit, having no right to refuse bonuses regardless of circumstances. They never serve the people, never have and never will with zero care for accountability. All that talk about honor, it doesn't exist in modern Japan. Go on T.V and say sumimasen with a heart felt deep apology.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This cockroach is becoming more nefarious by the day. Time for Abe to take some action on this boggle-eyed perp, especially with an election in the works.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@weisse. You can sue him if younwant him to be incited. Get in touch with a criminal attorney As he worked as the governor, Tokyo has to pay total amount of governor's pay that was declared T election time

Tokyo can sue him for amount he embezzled. And it may win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've never heard of such a law before. What purpose does it serve?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would you want to quit if you were about to draw another 3.5 mill ¥ bonus? It's a travesty of the working man who supports these politicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he resign his elected position, Tokyo will not pay his future salary and bonus and Tokyo will have new election with new candidates. The bonus he received was computed on time he worked.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese police interrogations and forced confessions is basically the same thing

So this is your justification? Hope you are never on the receiving end.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bullfighter & Yubaru

Criminal: 1. a person who has committed a crime. A lawbreaker, offender, , wrongdoer!

So you can be a criminal without ever being convicted! So calling him a criminal is an accurate way of describing his actions! He has admitted to his criminal behavior and actions and will have his day in court but he should NOT receive a bonus. There are many cases and examples of people getting caught of lessor crimes, (such as smoking weed) they loose their jobs, destroy their careers and most definitely DONT receive a bonus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It did not say illegal. Just he has to accept.

When we are not legitimate resident of Tokyo to (Capitol Prefecture) all. we can do is gossip'ing here. Don't get a big idea to put hi m in jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland: This is not a matter of conviction, the man has admitted his criminal behavior and actions and is apologizing for it! His actions ARE criminal by definition, others deny that's the correct word to use.

Everyone accused of a crime deserves their day in court but that doesn't change the facts of what he did and has already admitted to.

I'm was also trying to point out a hypocritical double standard, not all, but most politicians and powerful businessmen can steal large sums of money and get away with it with a slap on the wrist. While someone who robs a 7-11 for a $100 bucks, will serve prison time. Both are serious crimes but more often than not, someone who steals millions will have a lessor punishment.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland: This is not a matter of conviction, the man has admitted his criminal behavior and actions and is apologizing for it! His actions ARE criminal by definition, others deny that's the correct word to use.

1) If his actions are criminal by definition, tell us which laws define his actions as criminal.

2) Where has he admitted he did some criminal actions? He has apologized for using money in an irresponsible manner, but not that he did anything criminal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland: So do you believe it's perfectly legal for him to spend tax payer money for all his lavish expenses?

He has admitted to the "irresponsible" spending of tax payers money on lavish expenses, though I haven't found the actual written law that says its illegal, do you have any info that says it is?

And if by chance, his actions are somehow considered to be legal, do you think it should be?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland: So do you believe it's perfectly legal for him to spend tax payer money for all his lavish expenses?

I don't know if it is legal or not. I suspect it probably is. But my thoughts are irrelevant - you said "his actions ARE criminal by definition". To be defined as criminal, they would have to be against the law. Since you are claiming that they are criminal, you must know the law(s) that was/were broken. So please tell us which law(s) were broken, because if he has not broken any law, his actions cannot be criminal.

He has admitted to the "irresponsible" spending of tax payers money on lavish expenses, though I haven't found the actual written law that says its illegal, do you have any info that says it is?

You are asking me to prove innocence. It doesn't work that way, innocence is the default, guilt must be proven. Especially since you were the one who claimed he is guilty.

And if by chance, his actions are somehow considered to be legal, do you think it should be?

That's irrelevant to the thread of conversation. You claimed he is a criminal, even though he hasn't been convicted. For that to be true, two things have to also be true:

1) There has to be a criminal act (aka - a law has to be broken)

2) Guilt needs to be be presumed before innocence, or you could argue that he has to have admitted to having done something criminal.

So far, you have shown neither number one nor number two. So until and unless you can resolve these two points, your statement that he is a criminal is incorrect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@stewart, can you read a book? Instead crowding here, get a book of Criminal intro to criminal science 101

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland: You claimed he is a criminal, even though he hasn't been convicted.

So by your analogy, a serial rapist or murderer is NO criminal simply because he hasn't been caught and convicted?

As I've said, I have been searching to see if this specific criminal behavior, is illegal or not but the law in this matter is very murky at best. And if toshiko is such an expert of these laws, I welcome your input and examples.

I also showed the definition of criminal which includes, WRONGDOER as being that of a criminal.

The reason your opinion on this topic matters, (in regards to you thinking his action is not a wrong one) connects to my other point of exceptance (by the public and officials) of heavy penalties for lessor crimes and that its OK for politicians or powerful businesses, to get a way with serious crimes.

This action SHOULD be considered illegal and criminal and you know it! There is NO moral excuse that justifies what he did!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So by your analogy, a serial rapist or murderer is NO criminal simply because he hasn't been caught and convicted?

Rape and murder are both crimes under the penal code. You still have not told us what laws Masuzoe broke.

I have been searching to see if this specific criminal behavior, is illegal or not but the law in this matter is very murky at best.

If he hasn't broken a law, he isn't a criminal.

I also showed the definition of criminal which includes, WRONGDOER as being that of a criminal.

Criminal Adjective

of the nature of or involving crime. guilty of crime. Law. of or relating to crime or its punishment: a criminal proceeding. senseless; foolish: It's criminal to waste so much good food. exorbitant; grossly overpriced: They charge absolutely criminal prices. noun a person guilty or convicted of a crime.

link: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/criminal?r=75&src=ref&ch=dic

Nothing there that says a 'wrongdoer'. And in your definition, a wrongdoer was used to support the definition of someone who had committed a crime.

The reason your opinion on this topic matters, (in regards to you thinking his action is not a wrong one)

What? I haven't said his actions aren't wrong, I think he made a big mistake and wasted our money. That said, I doubt his actions are criminal.

connects to my other point of exceptance (by the public and officials) of heavy penalties for lessor crimes and that its OK for politicians or powerful businesses, to get a way with serious crimes.

Here you again talking about serious crimes, yet you haven't shown Masuzoe to have committed any crime, serious or otherwise.

This action SHOULD be considered illegal and criminal and you know it! There is NO moral excuse that justifies what he did!

Maybe they should - but the determination on whether he is a criminal does not come down to whether the things he did should be illegal, it comes down to whether the things he did are illegal.

And as far as morals go, unfortunately the law and morals are often out of sync.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland....it isn't worth it, by Stuarts definition everyone here could be labeled a "criminal", himself as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think I've effectively shown that definition to be incorrect.

Masuzoe may indeed turn out to be a criminal. But at the moment, nothing whatsoever has shown that he is.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Misuse of official information by a public servant ..... Use of public funds, time or personnel for personal for private gain or for unlawful political .... constitutes an illegal act of political corruption.

Though that appears "cut & dry" it is not! Every part of that statement has been challenged or re-interpreted and fought against in the court of law. Plus there are several other loophole laws that make it easier for wealthy individuals to get around the misuse spending of tax payers money.

I could show you other examples of those additional loophole laws but I'm sure you would only challenge them in your quest to be "right". Similar to me copying & pasting the first definition of criminal, that popped up on google, I posted all the definitions, which included wrongdoer. And yes, myself, and most of us, are or have been guilty of some kind criminal action, whether it be related to traffic violations or something else. It's quite telling that neither of you have a moral compass that can differentiate between the two.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Misuse of official information by a public servant ..... Use of public funds, time or personnel for personal for private gain or for unlawful political .... constitutes an illegal act of political corruption.

Really? Under which law?

I could show you other examples of those additional loophole laws but I'm sure you would only challenge them in your quest to be "right".

In my 'quest to be right', I've simply pointed out the criteria you need to meet for you to be right - criteria you haven't met. Yet you keep repeating the same thing over and over. So really here, who is on a 'quest to be right'?

It's quite telling that neither of you have a moral compass that can differentiate between the two.

What's with the personal attacks? My pointing out that you need to show that a law has been broken before Masuzoe can be branded a criminal doesn't tell you anything about my morals whatsoever. Rather, it would seem that in your frustration at having repeatedly been told that you need to show a crime was committed before he can be called a criminal, you have decided to attack me, instead of find evidence to support your assertion. So who is lacking a moral compass here?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Readers, please stop bickering and going around in circles. Posts that continue along this line will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo is preparing for Tokyo Olympic. It is none of our business to decide Tokyo business but can Tokyo be ready for Olympic without Masuzoe?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At this point, perhaps the best thing to do would be to abolish the position of governor of Tokyo. Does Tokyo even need a governor? Don't each of the 23 wards have their own mayors? The office in recent decades has turned into a springboard for highfalutin "flamboyant essayist" types (Ishihara, Inose, and now Masuzoe) to present themselves as an alternative seat of power to the national government.

Lots of very smart and capable eligible voters live in Tokyo, but they haven't exactly picked winners for the governor's office for some time now. In every election for governor, multiple candidates run, voter turnout is not very high, and the winner usually doesn't win a majority of the popular vote. Maybe Tokyoites would be better off without having a governor. London, after all, never had an elected mayor until the year 2000. Think of that bubble-era monstrosity of a government building in Shinjuku being turned into public housing or something else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I did some nosing of what he spent. I noticed he did not use Tokyo owned airplane, So, airfare Tokyo has to pay, not Masuzoe. Hotels. He has to stay. Have you people heard officials slept under a bridge while on official trip? So I assume he spent money supposed to be Travel expense count.

@Mass, Tokyo is a capital Prefecture. If you think it is better abolished, you can propose your agenda. Just create proposal and proof you are a Japanese living in Tokyo with family registration summary Study political science in maybe Tokyo Univ. Good luck. Be careful. The receptionist may mistake you as KyosanTo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At this point, perhaps the best thing to do would be to abolish the position of governor of Tokyo. Does Tokyo even need a governor? Don't each of the 23 wards have their own mayors?

Of course Tokyo needs a governor. It's not just the 23 wards, it's also the 39 cities. They need a central government for the entire metropolis, not just an un-unified, disjointed bunch of mayors with no guidance.

Your argument is akin to cutting off part of your body, because it's got something wrong with it, and you have other body parts. Better to fix what is wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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