(Jan. 28, 2009) The National Public Official Retirement Allowance Law was amended by the Diet (Japan's parliament), and the new version was promulgated on December 26, 2008 (Law No. 95 of 2008). The amended Law enabled the government to enforce the return of a paid retirement allowance from a retired official if a scandal is uncovered in which the retired official was involved and for which that official would have deserved disciplinary dismissal had he or she not yet been retired.
Before the amendment, the government could legally enforce the return of the paid retirement allowances only in cases in which the retired official was convicted and punished by imprisonment without mandatory labor or by a more severe punishment. (Kokka kōmuin taishoku teate hō tō no ichibu o kaisei suru hōritsu an [Bill to Amend the National Public Official Retirement Allowance Law], House of Representatives, Kakuhō [Cabinet Bill] No. 14 of the 170th Diet Session, http://www.shugiin.go.jp/index.nsf/html/index_gian.htm (last visited Jan. 22, 2009).)