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Noted economist tapped to head Japan government's tax commission

Noted economist tapped to head Japan government's tax commission

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday tapped Yutaka Kosai, a noted economist, to head the government's tax panel after his predecessor resigned amid an outcry over his using a government apartment to house his mistress.
Kosai, 73, senior adviser of the nonprofit Japan Center for Economic Research, has "deep insight into both fiscal and tax policies," Abe told reporters after announcing his appointment Tuesday.
The selection of Kosai as new chairman of the government's Tax Commission comes five days after his predecessor, Masaaki Homma, resigned after he was caught living with his mistress, not his wife, in a plush government apartment.
Homma's resignation came at a sensitive time for the prime minister, whose support ratings have fallen since he took office in September. Homma was hand-picked by Abe.
Kosai, a graduate from the economics department at the prestigious University of Tokyo, joined the then Economic Planning Agency in 1958, which is now part of the Cabinet Office.
After heading the government-run Economic and Social Research Institute from 2003 to 2005, Kosai became a senior adviser of the Japan Center for Economic Research in April.
Kosai is to formally assume the Tax Commission post in its next plenary session next month, according to local media.
In yet another embarrassment to the premier, supporters of administrative reform minister Genichiro Sata allegedly filed a fraudulent report of his political funds, Kyodo News agency and other Japanese media reported Tuesday.
A support group for Sata told the state it spent about 78 million yen in office maintenance expenses from 1990 to 2000, even though the office did not exist, according to the reports.
"Today, I instructed Sata to thoroughly look into the allegation and report to me," Abe said when asked about the allegations.
Earlier in the day, Sata denied any knowledge of fraudulent expense reports.
"I am surprised by the news report. I didn't know anything about it," Sata, 54, told reporters Tuesday. He said he had ordered an investigation and planned to disclose findings "as soon as possible."


Updated : 2021-07-24 00:35 GMT+08:00