Ja­pan gov’t to re­view statis­tics

Re­port re­veals faulty jobs data

Viet Nam News - - ASIA BUSI­NESS -

TOKYO — Ja­pan’s gov­ern­ment said yes­ter­day it will con­duct a sweep­ing re­view of key statis­tics af­ter the labour min­istry was re­vealed to have pub­lished faulty jobs data for more than a decade.

“It’s very re­gret­table that we have a sit­u­a­tion that im­pairs the cred­i­bil­ity of our statis­tics,” Chief Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga told a press brief­ing.

The gov­ern­ment lists 56 re­ports as key statis­tics, rang­ing from gross do­mes­tic prod­uct and the pop­u­la­tion cen­sus to data on dairy prod­ucts.

Suga also said the gov­ern­ment will re­work the state bud­get for fis­cal 2019 to in­clude the cost of re­im­burs­ing peo­ple who did not re­ceive enough ben­e­fits due to the faulty jobs data.

The Min­istry of Health, Labour and Wel­fare ad­mit­ted yes­ter­day that it had failed to pay more than 53 bil­lion yen (US$490 mil­lion) in un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance, work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion and sailors’ in­sur­ance to nearly 20 mil­lion peo­ple be­gin­ning in 2004.

The is­sue came to light af­ter it was re­vealed that the min­istry had pub­lished its monthly labour sur­vey with­out col­lect­ing enough data.

Un­der ex­ist­ing rules, the min­istry must re­view all busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments in the coun­try with 500 or more em­ploy­ees. But in Tokyo, it had col­lected data from only a third of the roughly 1,400 es­tab­lish­ments lo­cated in the cap­i­tal, lead­ing the data to show na­tion­wide wages as lower than they ac­tu­ally were.

The min­istry said mem­bers of staff in­volved in com­pil­ing the sur­vey re­sults be­gan the prac­tice in 2004 and con­tin­ued through 2017 un­til it was dis­cov­ered in­ter­nally.

The is­sue was not made pub­lic, how­ever, and the min­istry con­tin­ued to pub­lish the sur­vey us­ing spe­cialised soft­ware to make it ap­pear as if it had col­lected the nec­es­sary data un­til the Min­istry of In­ter­nal Af­fairs and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions found an in­con­sis­tency in De­cem­ber.

Labour min­is­ter Takumi Ne­moto apol­o­gised yes­ter­day for the faulty data but de­nied that his min­istry had tried to cover up the is­sue sys­tem­at­i­cally.

He said the min­istry would con­tinue its in­ves­ti­ga­tion and may pun­ish those found to be re­spon­si­ble.

The draft bud­get for the year start­ing April 1 was ap­proved by the Cabi­net of Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe last month and was to be de­lib­er­ated in the up­com­ing Diet ses­sion. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Taro Aso said the bud­get would likely need to be re-ap­proved by the Cabi­net.

The is­sue is likely to draw strong crit­i­cism from op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers dur­ing the ses­sion, giv­ing them am­mu­ni­tion ahead of lo­cal and na­tional elec­tions.

Of the nearly 20 mil­lion peo­ple af­fected, some 19 mil­lion were un­able to re­ceive a to­tal of 28 bil­lion yen in un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance ben­e­fits. — KYODO

Citi.io

Ja­pan’s gov­ern­ment will re­work the state bud­get for fis­cal 2019 to in­clude the cost of re­im­burs­ing peo­ple who did not re­ceive enough ben­e­fits due to the faulty jobs data. — Photo

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