Business tycoon Tsutsumi indicted

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on March 23 indicted Tsutsumi Yoshiaki, former chairman of Kokudo Corp., who presided over 135 firms assessed at 1.8 trillion yen, on charges of making false shareholding reports and conducting insider trading in violation of the Securities and Exchange Law.

The prosecutors also indicted two companies within Kokudo Corp. for insider trading and Seibu Railway Co. on false statement charges.

Tsutsumi admitted guilty to the charges. The prosecutors say they will wind up investigations with the indictment.

Akahata of March 24 pointed out that many suspicions remain unraveled concerning Tsutsumi, owner of more than 160 hotels and golf courses. They include Tstsumi's connections with politicians. The Seibu group during the past ten years has donated 99.80 million yen to the Liberal Democratic Party through the National Political Association, the LDP's fund-raising body. In addition to donations, the group has provided LDP lawmakers with electioneering offices.

When the 1987 law concerning resort development was enacted, the Seibu group played a major role. Tsutsumi had close connections with then Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo, who headed the lawmakers' group to push the law. Further investigation into this deal is called for.

Tax evasion by the Seibu/Kokudo group has been uncontrolled for many years thanks to Tsutsumi's influence in political circles. This needs to be exposed completely.

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At the House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting on March 23, Inoue Satoshi, Japanese Communist Party representatative, revealed that the magazine "To-sen-kai" published by Prime Minister Koizumi's fund raising body has received 200 million yen between 1990 to 2000 from Prince Hotel, Seibu's leading firm for advertisements.

Inoue stressed that such a donation from the firm must not be received. The prime minister refused to return the money, saying that it is difficult to know all about the contributing firm's behavior. (end)

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