Japan has spent a part of its budget reserved for reconstruction efforts after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami for unrelated purposes, found a government audit buttress.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the audit report said that a quarter of the $148bn budget was used for unrelated projects such as prison occupational training, road building in Okinawa, subsidies for contact lens plant, government office renovations, pilot training, rare earth mineral research, semi conductor research and whaling research.
Over half of the money is yet to be used, mainly due to lack of decisions and bureaucracy leaving majority of the 340,000 people evacuated from the disaster zones unsure about their resettlement, says the report.
Non-reconstruction projects were included in the budget for reconstruction on the pretext that they might help in the overall development of the country. But the government has recently admitted that it was a mistake.
In a speech to the parliament, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said: "It is true that the government has not done enough and has not done it adequately.
"We must listen to those who say the reconstruction should be the first priority".
He added that the projects which were not related to rebuilding would be taken out of the budget.
However, to make sure that the budget is used solely for rebuilding purposes, the budget spending law may have to be revamped. The rules currently allow spending on vague terms such as constructing eco-towns and promoting "employment measures".
Speaking to the Associated Press, Masahiro Matsumura, a politics professor at St. Andrews University in Osaka said that the misuse of funds is characteristic of the Japanese government's political dysfunction that has resulted in the poor management of rebuilding efforts.
"This is a manifestation of government indifference to rehabilitation," he said.
"They are very good at making excuses."