Kishida Pledges to Prevent Recurrences of Data Alteration


Tokyo, Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday pledged to prevent recurrences of data alteration by a government agency to win back the trust of citizens.

The prime minister made the comment at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan's parliament, after the infrastructure ministry was found to have inappropriately altered data for statistics on construction works over multiple years.

Kishida said that he has told infrastructure minister Tetsuo Saito to set up a third-party panel comprising members including former prosecutors and have it compile a report within a month on an investigation into the background and causes of the latest data alteration case.

It came to light Wednesday that monthly orders for domestic construction works projects from public and private entities, compiled by the infrastructure ministry based on surveys of about 12,000 companies, were overstated as the ministry had counted both the actual figures reported by businesses and estimated figures in some cases. The ministry was also found to have made prefectural governments rewrite related survey slips.

Saito explained at the parliamentary committee meeting that the ministry was told by the Board of Audit of Japan around November 2019 to improve the data compilation process, and revised it in January 2020 based on the advice. But he also said the ministry continued to implement conventional procedures in parallel through March 2021.

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Jiji Press