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Some Tokyo Assemblymen’s Car Fares Run $7,000 A Month

December 13, 1991

TOKYO (AP) _ Granted, taxis aren’t cheap in Tokyo, but taxpayers aren’t going to be happy about the latest newspaper reports that some city assemblymen are spending $7,000 a month on hired-car services.

″Sometimes legislators must go to their party headquarters ... or drink and dine in the Ginza for the sake of city politics,″ explained Takao Nagase of the Tokyo city accounting office who confirmed the figures published in the Asahi newspaper.

″Politicians on the national level do the same thing,″ he said.

The yearly car-hiring expense for the 128 city assembly members totaled more than $1 million, according to the Tokyo city office.

Hired cars cost about twice as much as using cabs, a Transport Ministry official said.

Nagase said it was difficult to determine whether the hired cars are being used for personal or official purposes.

″We can only appeal to the individual judgment of each legislator,″ he said.

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