TOYAMA (TR) – Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s parliamentary group in Toyama City allegedly spent government funds during a trip on morning beer and companions, or women paid to entertain guests, and tried to erase the evidence, Fuji News Network reported on Wednesday (September 28).
Funding meant for government expenses was allegedly spent instead on companions during a so-called inspection trip for one night and two days to Wakayama Prefecture in November 2013 by the LDP’s nine-member parliamentary group in the Toyama City Council, according to an expenses list obtained by FNN.
An official involved with the parliamentary group asked the travel agency that handled the trip to strip the expenses for companions from the list, but the original copy obtained by FNN lists expenses for the women in addition to an after-party and beer to drink in the morning.
Top-level members of the parliamentary group admitted staff that can be said to be companions did exist, but insisted their expenses were paid for by participating members of the trip during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon.
The group had claimed that the expenses list disclosing the companion fees were estimates submitted before the actual trip, FNN reported.
FNN asked a former chairman of the parliamentary group who took part in the trip if companions were being summoned under the guise of an inspection trip.
“No, not usually,” the former chairman responded, but said when pressed again, “Well, right…”