About 600 firms donated 1.9-billion yen to parties in 2004

Japan Business Federation Chairman Okuda Hiroshi on January 11 revealed that the total amount of cash in donations made by about 600 Japanese companies to political parties in 2004 exceeded the previous year's 1.9 billion yen.

Emphasizing that the declining trend in the amount has been turned back, Okuda said that the number of companies that made political donations increased last year by about 100 that include those which resumed or newly began donating money.

The Japan Business Federation has called on its member companies to give political donations based on evaluations it made on each political party in a bid to establish a "two party system" consisting of conservative parties representing business circles' interests.

Using donations as a leverage to realize policies the business world wants is nothing but "political buyout", reported Akahata on January 12. (end)

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