Japan Press Weekly
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Corrupt lawmaker Suzuki will go to jail
The Supreme Court on September 7 rejected an appeal from House of Representatives member Suzuki Muneo in regard to four criminal charges including bribery. With this decision, he will most likely lose his Diet seat and be sent to prison.
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi at a press conference on the following day commented, "It is a matter of course for the top court to judge that Suzuki is guilty of committing crimes. He used his political influence as a state minister at that time to take bribes. It was very disgraceful for a parliamentarian."
Ichida also stated, "Money-for-politics scandals have occurred one after another, so I think Dietmembers should bear a heavier criminal responsibility for bribery, and political donations from corporations should be banned because these are a root cause of corruption."
Suzuki was arrested and prosecuted in 2002, formed his own political party called the "New Party Daichi" in 2005, and won a seat representing Hokkaido. In 2006, he made an agreement with Democratic Party Leader at that time Ozawa Ichiro to cooperate in elections in Hokkaido, helping him to remain in the political world. After the 2009 general election, he joined the parliamentary group of the DPJ and became a chairman of the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The JCP strongly opposed Suzuki's nomination to chair the committee on the grounds that he was still being charged in criminal trials and totally lacked qualifications to be a committee leader.
However, the ruling DPJ, the Social Democratic Party, and the People's New Party supported Suzuki's appointment to head the committee. These three ruling parties at the Lower House plenary sessions last month also voted to have Suzuki commended for his 25 years of service in the Diet.
- Akahata, September 9, 2010
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