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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 March 25 - 31  > DPJ leader Ozawa’s secretary indicted for illegal donations
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2009 March 25 - 31 [POLITICS]

DPJ leader Ozawa’s secretary indicted for illegal donations

March 25, 2009
Tokyo prosecutors on March 24 indicted Democratic Party of Japan President Ozawa Ichiro’s secretary, Okubo Takanori, on charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law.

Later in the day, Ozawa stated, “I am very much to blame for it.” However, he also said he wants to remain as the DPJ leader in order to achieve his goal of forcing a change in government.

The suspect, who is the chief accountant of Rikuzankai, Ozawa’s fund managing organization, is accused of intentionally failing to include in Ozawa’s political funds report 21 million yen and 14 million yen in donations to Rikuzankai and a DPJ branch (which Ozawa represents) in Ozawa’s hometown in Iwate Pref., respectively, between 2003-2006. He allegedly knew that these were donations from Nishimatsu Construction Co. funneled through the constructor’s political action groups, “Shin Seiji Mondai Kenkyu-kai” and “Mirai Sangyo Kenkyu-kai.”

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Tanigawa Kotaro, commented, “Political groups of a Dietmember have kept hidden from the public eye the fact that they accepted large amounts of money for many years from a particular construction firm. The prosecutors’ office has concluded that this is a serious and malicious act.”

Sources close to Nishimatsu have revealed that the suspect sent a bill from Rikuzankai to the constructor in question every year asking for political donations, and that he had prearranged the amount of the constructor’s annual donation as well as the method for transferring the money without being noticed. For 12 years up till 2006, Nishimatsu donated about 300 million yen to Ozawa’s political action groups using its two groups as camouflage.

Ozawa and his organizations concealed the truth that the money had been given as political donations from Nishimatsu, which was awarded contracts for public works projects.

The scandal has brought to light part of the structure of collusion between politicians and businesses.
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