Government 'secret funds system' was supposedly substitute for CIA funds: Liberal Party lawmaker

A former LDP staff member says that the 'secret funds' system allowing Foreign Ministry money to be funneled to the Cabinet Office may have been established as the substitute for secret CIA money channeled to the Liberal Democratic Party.

It is now known that the "secret state funds" have been used by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for taming opposition parties in parliamentary activities.

Hirano Sadao of the Liberal Party, who served as a secretary to Maeo Shigesaburo, LDP secretary general from 1961-1963, raised the question in the House of Councilors Audit Committee meeting on June 18.

He said that the LDP in the 1950s and 1960s received CIA money to deal with opposition parties. He said he remembers that the LDP declined to receive CIA money in 1961 or 1962. He added that he suspects that the LDP introduced the 'secret funds' system at the start of the Sato Cabinet (1964-72) when it faced financial difficulty.

According to Hirano, Maeo, Lower House speaker at the time, told him in 1976 that "it was high time for the LDP to stop receiving foreign money but some people were reluctant to accept the decision."

Hirano also said that Shiina Etsusaburo, who was foreign minister in the Sato Eisaku's cabinet, said he didn't know the reason why "secret funds" allotted to the cabinet secretary and the foreign ministry soared by 56% and 62% each in the government budget for FY 1966. (end)