Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe appeared on a television news program on May 9 and responded to criticism about his use of an official vehicle to travel to and from his vacation home in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, saying he would no longer do so.
Masuzoe made the comments on the TBS news program "NEWS23." He noted the criticism he had received for using a government vehicle, saying, "I've gotten all kinds of criticism. I no longer intend to use government cars (to go to and from my vacation home)."
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, over the one-year period until April this year, Masuzoe used a government car to travel to and from his vacation home -- which doubled as an office -- 48 times.
At a regular news conference on April 28, Masuzoe said, "I have had surgery on a pelvic joint and had an artificial joint put in, and I can't spread my legs in my bath at my (regular) home. My bathtub in Yugawara is wide, and getting in the bath and stretching my legs about once a week will speed up my recovery." On the news program, however, Masuzoe said, "I will rethink the frequency (of my visits to my vacation home)."
Masuzoe also touched on the issue of his overseas trips being criticized by Tokyo residents and other prefectural governors for significantly exceeding an ordinance-set limit on lodging costs.
"For the travel costs of going to Rio de Janeiro (which is my next planned overseas trip), I plan to cut costs by over 30 percent through such measures as reducing the number of accompanying staff," he said.