Japanese authorities said on January 11th that they have had to adjust their next budget to pay compensation to those whose benefit payments have been too low for years, due to erroneous employment data.
The scandal goes back to 2004, when officials were supposed to collect data from all companies with 500 or more employees but in Tokyo the survey covered just one-third of the total number of companies. Thus, about 53 billion yen ($490 million) is owed to 20 million workers, according to the ministry.
"We will make adjustments to make a necessary budget allocation in the 2019 fiscal budget ... after I have received a report from the labour and welfare ministry that they need to provide employment insurance and other payments retroactively," top government spokesperson, Yoshihide Suga, told a news conference.
Labour Minister Takumi Nemoto expressed "sincere apologies for causing trouble to the people," admitting that he had received a report on the problem as early as December 20th, yet his ministry went ahead and published erroneous benefits payments data in late December and early January this year.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Labour admitted that it had failed for years to collect complete data for its monthly work report, which helps identify various government benefits such as job insurance and serves as an indicator of wages and working hours.