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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 September 10 - 16  > Top 15 military suppliers donate 210 million yen to LDP in 2007
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2008 September 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Top 15 military suppliers donate 210 million yen to LDP in 2007

September 15, 2008
A government gazette of September 12 that published political parties’ funds reports for 2007 showed that the 15 largest military contractors that supply equipment, fuel, and munitions to the Self-Defense Forces donated 210 million yen to the Liberal Democratic Party in FY2007. The amount increased by 13 percent from FY 2006.

The total amount of military contracts awarded to the 15 companies reached 88 million yen, 25 percent of which was to the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the biggest military supplier. The company is also the biggest donor to the LDP (40 billion yen). The higher the contract amount, the more money contractors donate to the LDP.

The military contractors are afraid of possible future declines in military expenditure amid fiscal strains and increasing public criticism of the military buildup. They call for “selective and intensive” budgeting in order to promote military equipment for overseas operations, the “missile defense” project, and deployment of spy satellites. They are desperately seeking ways to ensure their survival.

In November 2007, the former defense vice minister was arrested on charges of taking bribes in connection with the procurement of engines for the next-generation transport aircraft for Self-Defense Force operations abroad. His trial has revealed an extraordinary degree of collusion between the Defense Ministry, SDF and the military industry, in which the former defense vice minister was entertained with more than 300 golf excursions.

The latest political funds report of the LDP clearly shows that cozy relations are not limited to ones between the military suppliers and the Defense Ministry, but structurally exist also between these suppliers and the LDP, an advocate of overseas dispatches of troops and the promotion of the missile defense project.
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