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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 14 - 20  > Former defense chief admits selling his fundraiser tickets to defense contractor
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2007 November 14 - 20 [SDF]

Former defense chief admits selling his fundraiser tickets to defense contractor

November 20, 2007
At the House of Councilors Audit Committee meeting on November 19, Finance Minister Nukaga Fukushiro, who is former Defense Agency director general, admitted that defense contractor Yamada Corporation bought tickets for his fundraisers between 2002 and 2007 for a total of 2.2 million yen.

Given the fact that Nukaga served as the Defense Agency chief under Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro’s cabinet for 12 months from October 2005, his sale of fundraiser tickets may violate the regulations that prohibit cabinet ministers from receiving gifts or advantages in connection with the minister’s official duty.

At the “breakfast meeting” that he holds four times a year, Nukaga sold 10 fundraiser tickets at 200,000 yen each to Yamada Corporation.

At a news conference, Nukaga said that he had returned the money to Yamada Corporation because the firm has caused a political problem.

Nukaga’s fund managing organization has held fundraisers several times a year, collecting between 9 and 19 million yen each time.

The Political Funds Control Law does not require politicians to report revenue from fundraiser tickets sold at less 200,000 yen each. This is why the name of Yamada Corporation does not appear in his political funds report.

While he was the Defense Agency director general, he held 4 fundraisers in December 2005, and in March, June, and September 2006, and collected 57.1 million yen. Nukaga’s political fund reports show that about 200 people attended each fundraiser. Yamada Corporation’s name didn’t appear in the report.

Japanese Communist Party representative Daimon Mikishi at the House of Councilor committee meeting demanded that Nukaga return the money to all those who bought tickets and did not attend, saying, “Such a way of collecting money amounts to receiving hidden donations.”

Nukaga implied that he had only played golf with Miyazaki Motonobu, a former Yamada Corporation executive.

Nukaga was also entertained by Mitsubishi Group

In his questioning at the same committee meeting, Daimon also pointed out that Nukaga allegedly had been wined and dined by the Mitsubishi group, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric. The Mitsubishi group receives more than 30% of Defense Ministry contracts.

Daimon asked whether Nukaga paid for his participation in the gathering at the Mitsubishi group’s guesthouse “Kaito-kaku”, which Nukaga admitted attending at the October 30 House of Councilors Fiscal and Financial Committee meeting. The finance minister answered that he sometimes did and sometimes didn’t, thus admitting that he had been entertained at times by the corporate group at their expense.

Pointing out that a guesthouse is not a place where you are asked to pay to visit, Daimon demanded that Nukaga thoroughly investigate the corruption allegation.
- Akahata, November 20, 2007
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