Lawmaker Suzuki leaves LDP to cover up ugliness of LDP politics -- Akahata editorial, March 16

House of Representatives member Suzuki Muneo quit the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on March 15 following the allegations of a series of scandals.

Recent Diet interrogations of Suzuki as a sworn witness increased the suspicion against him. Various new scandals, including his use of violence against a foreign ministry official, surfaced later.

The worst decision to 'scapegoat Suzuki'

The four opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, have jointly submitted a resolution to the Diet demanding Suzuki's resignation from the Diet. As it is highly likely that Suzuki may be accused of perjury, these parties are making preparations to take relevant actions against him.

What Suzuki must do now is to resign as a Dietmember, and tell the truth.

But Suzuki has said nothing in response to public questions and criticism, nor has he revealed the truth. He has only repeated such empty words as "apologies" or "reflection" in relation to "the people's concern" or that his "remarks and acts that were taken as pressure (on ministries)."

He decided to quit the LDP hoping that he would "not cause trouble to the LDP." This is nothing but a product of the Koizumi government's attempt to hush up Suzuki's wrongdoing and expectation that "severing Suzuki will help keep the LDP safe," which is entirely different from what the people want: a through investigation into the case.

Calculating that the longer the investigation into Suzuki's scandal the worse for the party, the prime minister's office and the LDP leadership arrived at the conclusion that they should urge Suzuki to announce his departure from the LDP without delay.

However, the people do not believe the claim that only Suzuki is to blame, and this has nothing to do with the rest of the LDP.

Suzuki put pressure on the Foreign Ministry to change bidding standards for its assistance projects to the Russian-held four "northern islands" so that particular companies may get contracts and make fund donations to Suzuki.

The allegations about Suzuki just show the true color of the LDP, which has constantly used his political clout to distort administrative organizations in return for corporate donations. Dismissing Suzuki must not be the end of the efforts to address the present problems.

The Foreign Ministry, which is busy publishing internal documents against Suzuki, is also to blame for giving Suzuki freedom to interfere in ministry affairs and distort Japan's diplomacy. The ministry has to take the serious responsibility for being accomplice in deception.

The Foreign Ministry's secret fund question remains unresolved. This symbolizes the collusion between the LDP and major ministries. What must be questioned is their corrupt nature and their maneuvers to hush up scandals.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro has a serious responsibility for this case.

It was the prime minister's office, Suzuki Muneo, and the Foreign Ministry that arranged the dismissal of former Foreign Minister Tanaka Makiko by taking advantage of Suzuki's interference with the ministry that led to an exclusion of NGO groups from an international conference.

Suzuki resigned as the chair of the House of Representatives Diet Steering Committee, tied up with the change of then Foreign Minister Tanaka. Appreciating Suzuki's resignation as "manly," Koizumi persistently supported the government statement which denied Suzuki's involvement in the NGO issue.

Koizumi government's true nature unmasked

Under a scheme to calm down public criticism of Suzuki, Koizumi suddenly changed his attitude toward Suzuki and moved to break with him to hush up the scandal. The prime minister has advocated that corporate donations are "not bad," although they are the root of LDP corruption. He feigns ignorance to the foreign ministry's secret funds going to the Cabinet Office.

Is this the same Koizumi who went so far as to say, "I may destroy the LDP!"? Now, the people began to see through Koizumi and what he stands for.

By severing Suzuki from the LDP, Prime Minister Koizumi is trying to prevent a through investigation from reaching into the whole LDP scandal. The need now is for the people to keep a watch on how Koizumi as prime minister reacts. (end)