Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Foreign Ministry will seek a 2.5-fold rise in spending to charter airplanes for Foreign Minister Taro Kono in its budget request for fiscal 2020, it was learned Wednesday.
The ministry’s overall budget request, presented and approved at a meeting of relevant officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party the same day, totaled 793.7 billion yen, up 8.6 pct from the fiscal 2019 budget.
Kono has been calling for the introduction of an exclusive airplane for the foreign minister.
Instead of purchasing a dedicated aircraft, the ministry will seek 1,050 million yen to cover costs to charter commercial airplanes, up from 420 million yen secured under the fiscal 2019 budget for 200 hours of flights on chartered airplanes.
After Kono used the funds efficiently to visit Pacific island nations, African countries and other destinations, the ministry decided to increase the budget allocation for fiscal 2020, which starts in April next year.
In the wake of the World Trade Organization’s decision in April to tolerate South Korea’s import ban on fishery products from some Japanese prefectures, the ministry decided to seek 250 million yen, about double the level for fiscal 2019, to enhance measures linked to the WTO’s dispute resolution process, by hiring legal counsel, for example.
The ministry will request 505.1 billion yen for Japan’s official development assistance, up 15.4 pct.