Postal service office-backed LDP lawmaker forced to resign

A Liberal Democratic Party freshman of the House of Councilors has
resigned to take responsibility for violation of the Public Offices Election
Law by his campaign.

Koso Kenji, former director of the Kinki Regional Bureau of Postal
Services, was elected on the LDP proportional representation list in the
July 29 election, with the solid backing of the regional bureau.

Sixteen people, including regional bureau officials, have been arrested
over alleged violation of the election law.

The problem is that the campaign was organized by a government office and
that tax money was used by the Koso campaign. Neverheless, the LDP
leadership, including Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro who is LDP
president, has been reluctant to investigate into the scandal.

Prime Minister Koizumi once described the Koso campaign's wrongdoing
merely as an "excessive effort" to block the privatization of the postal

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi criticized
Koizumi for trying to hold himself aloof, saying, "We will pursue the
scandal as an issue which has laid bare the collusion between LDP
politicians and bureaucrats." (end)