A briber of LDP gets suspended sentence

The Tokyo District Court on March 26 sentenced Koseki Tadao, former chief of an insurer for smaller businesses, to three years in prison, suspended for five years, for bribing two former Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers.

Former LDP Upper House Dietmembers Murakami Masakuni and Koyama Takao were both arrested for accepting bribes in return for parliamentary statements in support of KSD's project for a college called the "Institute of Technologists" that resulted in an enormous amount of tax money being poured into the project.

The presiding judge criticized the former head of KSD, a small- and medium-sized businesses' mutual aid association, for increasing political distrust among the people.

Akahata on March 27 stated that the KSD scandal goes beyond the two ex-LDP legislators, saying that the core of the crime is that KSD had paid LDP more than 2.1 billion yen (about 15.67 million dollars) under the name of party dues.

There were three parliamentarian groups in support of KSD, and 223 (60 percent) LDP Dietmembers had taken part in the groups. Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro had once been a vice-head of one of these societies. The whole of the LDP was virtually contaminated with KSD money, Akahata said.

Akahata said that the KSD scandal is similar to the recently revealed scandals of Suzuki Muneo and Kato Koichi, former LDP Lower House members.

To make a searching inquiry into such cozy ties between politicians and industries should be a major political task, Akahata concluded. (end)