JCP Shii calls for thorough investigation into suspicious role of Suzuki and Foreign Ministry

Characterizing the suspicious role of Liberal Democratic Party Dietmember Suzuki Muneo and the Foreign Ministry in the government's foreign assistance programs as a major political issue, Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo has emphasized that they must be thoroughly investigated.

At a press conference in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, Shii said that all facts must be established about the allegations of corruption involving the Foreign Ministry. "Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro must be responsible for the investigation," he added.

Shii said that only the scandal about the "Muneo House" has been revealed but that it is necessary to uncover other things, including donations he received from a company which won the bid for an official development assistance program for an African country.

He said that the Diet must subpoena Suzuki to appear as a sworn witness before the House of Representatives Budget Committee and that all related Foreign Ministry documents must be made public.

Pointing out that the Foreign Ministry has withheld documents to deceive the public about the fake bidding for the contract to build the "Muneo House," Shii demanded that such corrupt practices be eliminated so that Japan can promote its foreign policy agenda in an appropriate way.

Shii said that no one believes the government explanation that Suzuki didn't interfere with the Foreign Ministry in connection with NGOs' participation in the Afghan conference.

Shii criticized Prime Minister Koizumi for avoiding an investigation into the matter, saying that he is responsible for uncovering the truth about the allegations. (end)