Abe Defends Virus Relief Benefit Outsourcing

Politics

Tokyo, June 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed Thursday that the outsourcing of work related to a coronavirus relief program of his government was done appropriately under correct procedures.

The decision-making process over the outsourcing was "in accordance with rules," Abe said at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Abe made the remark in response to a question from Renho, a senior member of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. At the meeting, basic discussions were held on the government's second supplementary budget for fiscal 2020, with Abe and all members of his cabinet in attendance.

The opposition camp has been grilling the government over the program, which provides cash benefits to businesses hit by plunges in sales due to the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Administrative work for the program was outsourced for 76.9 billion yen to the Tokyo-based Service Design Engineering Council and was then subcontracted to major ad agency Dentsu Inc. for 74.9 billion yen, raising suspicions that the gap worth 2 billion yen was siphoned off.

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Jiji Press