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Ozawa has displayed extraordinary competence in fundraising - Akahata gCurrenth column

Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro was the Liberal Party leader 10 years ago. An Akahata reporter was appalled to see a meeting of Liberal Party members of the Diet called off after a brief statement by Ozawa.

The reporter asked a party official who he was acquainted with: gIs this the normal way of holding meetings?h The official said, gWe are the Ozawa Army.h The answer impressed the reporter with how gstrong-armedh Ozawa was.

The Liberal Party later merged with the Democratic Party under Ozawafs initiative. The January 1 issue of Akahata reported that in the course of founding and dissolving parties, the New Frontier Party, the Renewal Party, and the Liberal Party, Ozawafs political action group collected all the balance of funds carried over amounting to more than 2 billion yen.

Currently, Ozawa is under investigation over the allegation that Nishimatsu Construction company made illegal donations to Ozawafs political action group and a dubious land deal by his fund management organization gRikuzankaih.

The Akahata Sunday Edition has reported that the major civil engineering company, Mizutani Construction, gave Ozawafs group 100 million yen in illegal donations in connection with contract awards for public works projects.

We do not know of any politician suspected of being tainted with a string of illegal cash donations.

No wonder he is seen by many as a politician displaying strong-arm tactics.

Many years ago, when Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Kanemaru Shin was found to have accepted illegal cash in donations, Ozawa set up a press conference for Kanemaru to come clean on the scandal. Ozawa at the time was acting head of the Takeshita Noboru LDP faction. Ozawa tried to dodge public criticism by admitting that Kanemaru had accepted cash in illegal donations. But it had an opposite effect.

Ozawa has never explained anything about the allegations of his illegal acceptance of donations. But in the present circumstances, Ozawa should not be allowed to continue to state, gI know nothing about that.h The public overwhelmingly is demanding a thorough investigation.

- Akahata, January 12, 2010



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