Right-wing money linked to public safety leader

Akahata of November 15 reported that Ono Kiyoko, who was appointed Chair of the National Public Safety Commission under the reshuffled Koizumi Cabinet in September, was given money by a construction company with right-wing connections.

The money was paid as fees for company employees to attend study meetings and as tickets for fund raising gatherings. In addition, 960,000 yen was donated in the period from 1995 to 1998.

The construction company's president is honorary chair of the All-Japan Congress of Patriotic Associations, the biggest league of right-wing organizations, founded in 1959.

The National Public Safety Commission chair, a minister of state, is responsible for defending the public order and safety by guiding the commission which supervises the nation's police. It is a serious offense for the minister to accept money linked to a right-wing leader connected with anti-social violent groups. Prime Minister Koizumi must assume the responsibility for appointing Ono to the minister.

There were many examples of connections between politicians and right-wing or gangster groups being brought to light. Former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro and his aide, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nakagawa Hidenao, were such examples.

Under the Koizumi Cabinet, ex-House of Representatives member Matsunami Kenshiro (former New Conservative Party) had a gangster-related company pay the salary of his secretary. Prime Minister Koizumi did not urge Matsunami to resign from the Diet.

Akahata said that the prime minister's indulgence towards collusion between politicians and gangster groups has encouraged such ties to prevail. The newspaper demanded that Ono immediately resign as cabinet minister in the light of the responsibility to defend public safety. (end)

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