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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 March 11 - 17  > Minister insists on his ignorance of ‘donations from Nishimatsu’
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2009 March 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Minister insists on his ignorance of ‘donations from Nishimatsu’

March 12, 2009
Faced with a revelation that he has had a long-time relationship with two fictitious political action groups created by a construction company to funnel cash donations to him, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Nikai Toshihiro was unable to explain the facts.

In response to Japanese Communist Party representative Inoue Satoshi at the House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting on March 11, Nikai just stated, “I did not know anything” about the relation between Nishimatsu Construction and the groups in question.

The JCP lawmaker revealed the fact that two groups, disguised as political action groups, were used as conduits for Nishimatsu Construction’s cash donations to Nikai.

Inoue pointed out that the political action group “New Wave” led by Nikai in its political funds reports for 2005 and 2006, failed to enter a total of 3.42 million yen in cash that was paid by the two groups for Nikai’s fundraiser tickets. In 2007, the “New Wave” group admitted its failure to include the amounts received and corrected the financial reports.

At that time, Nikai himself held a news conference to explain the matter, and the media reported that the two dummies were headed by former Nishimatsu executives.

Inoue asked Nikai, “Despite this history, isn’t it strange that you claims to not know anything about the connections between Nishimatsu and these dummies?”

Nikai retorted, “I say I don’t know!”

Inoue again asked, “Your fund management organization had also received donations from one of the dummy groups at the time it was established in 1995, hadn’t it?

Nikai said, “I don’t check every donation.”

Inoue stated, “No one will accept such a flimsy explanation. You should make a public disclosure.”
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