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    More 裏金

    Oh, uh, if you’re trying to keep a running count of slush funds in the Japanese federal government, you’re going to have to increase your total by two:

    Trade minister Shoichi Nakagawa admitted Friday that two more slush funds exist at his ministry, including one now containing 52 million yen that was created with payments from UNICEF.

    The other slush fund came from money that was obtained for the wages of part-timers who never worked at the ministry. A total of about 1.4 million yen has been put into the fund at the Trade Policy Bureau’s Americans Division, Nakagawa said.

    Last month, the ministry said its policy-making office secretly kept unused research subsidies to build slush funds.

    Over the past 30 years, only one payment, in November 1975, has been made from the slush fund, when 2 million yen was used to buy a membership to an exclusive restaurant. The membership was canceled four months later, and the money was returned to the fund.

    The other slush fund revealed Friday was created from the wages of fictitious part-timers. The slush fund started in fiscal 1995.

    A total of 1.39 million yen was put into the slush fund from fiscal 1995 to fiscal 2002. But 1.07 million yen had been withdrawn by June 2005 to pay real part-timers hired for busy periods, such as during Japan-U.S. trade negotiations, leaving 321,290 yen in the fund.

    The ministry plans to return all of the 1.39 million yen plus interest to state coffers.

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