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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 June 10 - 16  > DPJ wants to be funded by corporations while proposing a ban on corporate donations
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2009 June 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

DPJ wants to be funded by corporations while proposing a ban on corporate donations

June 10, 2009
Akahata editorial

The Democratic Party on May 22 submitted a bill calling for the Political Funds Control Law to be revised to outlaw corporate donations to political parties in three years.

Isn’t this hypocritical?

It is reported that at a meeting with the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) leaders, DPJ Policy Research Committee Chair Naoshima Masayuki requested that corporations continue to provide donations to the party for at least the next three years.

The DPJ could stop accepting donations from corporations without waiting for the law to be revised. But clearly, it is refusing to do so.

At the meeting with the business leaders, Naoshima reportedly said, “The DPJ proposal for a ban on corporate donations is not meant to deny business leaders the right to express opinions and make proposals.

Naoshima also stated, “We are proposing a ban on corporate donations because they have gained a negative image. But we also must recognize the fact that there are problems regarding the recent issues” (From the DPJ website). Such an argument is not convincing at all. How irresponsible it is for the DPJ to call for a ban on corporate donations while simultaneously insisting that there is nothing wrong with accepting corporate donations.

They must not forget the constitutional principle that sovereign power resides with the people and not with corporations. People have the right to express their views about policies, vote in elections, and give financial support to political parties of their own choosing.

Corporations expect to get something in return when they donate money to political parties.

Historically, far from being benign, corporate donations have been a hot bed of corruption, which distorted politics. That is why for many years, controlling such donations has been a major issue. It is illegal for corporations to give individual politicians money. Government contractors are prohibited from making donations to political parties for election campaigns.

Consistent with its call for corporate donations to be banned completely and immediately, the Japanese Communist Party accepts nothing from any corporations.

It should be kept in mind that the DPJ happened to submit the bill to ban fund raising from corporations and organizations only in the face of pubic criticism of former DPJ President Ozawa Ichiro, who accepted illegal money donations from Nishimatsu Construction Co.

The DPJ should be held accountable for this. Before calling for a ban on corporate donations to political parties, it should make a thorough reflection of the misconduct of its own former party head.

Prime Minister Aso Taro and the Liberal Democratic Party are not interested in controlling corporate funds, insisting that there is nothing wrong with corporate donations.

Nippon Keidanren held a meeting with the DPJ for the purpose of evaluating the party and to determine the amount of money corporations sould give to the DPJ.

Without eliminating its cozy relations with corporations, a political party cannot deal with them on an equal footing.
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