Japan Foreign Min. Kono Not to Get Budget for Dedicated Plane
Tokyo, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Foreign Ministry will not seek funds to buy a dedicated aircraft for the foreign minister, according to a draft of its fiscal 2019 budget request presented to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono has repeatedly called for the introduction of an exclusive plane for the country's foreign minister, claiming that it is inefficient for the minister to travel on commercial flights. Since taking office in August last year, Kono has frequently made overseas trips.
Such a dedicated aircraft is expected to cost nearly 10 billion yen. In addition, maintenance and operation costs would be necessary.
Instead of the idea of introducing such a costly plane, the ministry is set to request 960 million yen to cover the costs to use chartered planes under the government's budget for the year from next April, up sharply from 70 million yen earmarked for such flights under the fiscal 2018 budget.
The ministry will seek a total of 810.2 billion yen for fiscal 2019, up 16.3 pct from the fiscal 2018 budget, according to the draft, which was submitted to a joint meeting of relevant LDP divisions.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]