Business circles buy political favors with 4 billion yen in donation

The Japan Business Federation (JBF) on December 16 decided to donate four billion yen to political parties that promote policies in favor of large corporations and business circles, namely the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, and the Komei Party. The Japanese Communist Party, a staunch advocate of a ban on corporate political donations, and the Social Democratic Party will be excluded from the JBF donation list.

The JBF calls on its member companies to contribute roughly the same amounts as their annual JBF membership fees. In FY 2002, member companies paid about four billion yen in annual dues to the JBF. Under this JBF "standard", the amount of corporate donations to the political parties in FY 2004 will be twice as much as that in FY 2002.

This is nothing less than an act of "political influence buying", Akahata on December 17 reported. JBF Chair Okuda Hiroshi said, "The LDP and the DPJ will be recipients of our donations"; business leaders are now pushing for a two-party system.

The JBF will rate political parties on an A-to-E scale depending on the affinity it has for their policies. (end)

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