Lower House begins deliberating bill to raise prime minister's salary

Japan's Diet has begun deliberating a bill to raise the salaries of senior government officials including the prime minister. But the move is facing severe backlash from the opposition camp.

The Lower House Cabinet Committee began deliberations on Wednesday.

Under the bill, the salary of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will increase by 460,000 yen, or about 3,000 dollars, a year. The salaries of Cabinet ministers will also rise by about 2,100 dollars.

The increases are in accordance with those of ordinary civil servants.

Digital Transformation Minister Kono Taro, who is in charge of the national public service system, explained the purpose of the bill and called for careful discussions and support.

The committee is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.

But opposition lawmakers have voiced strong resistance. The largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party plans to submit an amended bill. Party members say it is not appropriate to raise the salaries of the prime minister and Cabinet members when the public is struggling with rising prices.

The CDP's Diet affairs chief, Azumi Jun, told reporters that his party supports increasing the salaries of ordinary civil servants but not Cabinet members.

Concerns have also been raised from the ruling camp. Some members of the governing coalition partner Komeito are also voicing a need to revise the bill.