Suzuki scandal is embodiment of LDP's corrupt nature: JCP Shii

Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo on a satellite TV Asahi Newstar program on March 13 said that the scandal of Suzuki Muneo, Liberal Democratic Party House of Representatives member, is a symbolic event that reveals the party's corrupt character and structure of collusion with bureaucrats and businessmen.

Suzuki has interfered with Foreign Ministry affairs, put pressure on ministry officials at the request of particular companies, and received donations from the companies as rewards.

Shii said that this is what most LDP Dietmembers, who are called "zoku giin" (Dietmembers who represent special interests and wield their influence on particular government offices), are a matter of doing routine.

From the money he collected as donations since 1998, Suzuki has distributed 240 million yen to 57 LDP politicians and one Komei Party Dietmember.

"How can they push Suzuki into resignation to put an end to the scandal and keep silent about the Muneo money they have received?" Shii exclaimed.

Another problem is the Foreign Ministry's tendency to keep matters secret, said Shii.

Pointing out that the ministry has only submitted reports on what they considered impossible to keep secret anymore, he criticized the ministry for having tried to cover up as much information as possible in connection with the Suzuki scandal.

Shii predicted that Suzuki's resignation won't ensure that the Foreign Ministry will turn into a clean, fair and square ministry.

"What is necessary for the Ministry is to end collusion with politicians and businesspeople, and change its secretive and unethical behavior," said Shii.

Shii then criticized Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro for being reluctant to make his own efforts to investigate into the matter and putting the lid on problems such as corporate donations and suspicious ways of using taxpayers' money.

When the JCP asked in the Diet about Suzuki's suspicious behavior based on the party's own investigations, Prime Minister Koizumi answered that he will let the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Agency look into the matter.

Shii said that the ministries that have committed injustice as accomplices to Suzuki won't be able to conduct impartial investigations.

"How can such a prime minister who is reluctant to solve problems talk about 'reform'?" demanded Shii. (end)