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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 14 - 20  > HEPCO executives gave donations to LDP and Hokkaido governor
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2007 November 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

HEPCO executives gave donations to LDP and Hokkaido governor

November 13, 2007
It was revealed that many executives of Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. (HEPCO) have given donations to the Liberal Democratic Party and the Hokkaido governor. While public utility corporations have been refraining from making political donations since 1974 due to consumers’ strong criticism, HEPCO is making corporate donations under the guise of personal donations.

The Japanese Communist Party Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly Members’ Group and Akahata have learned that since 2004, more than ten HEPCO executives gave political donations to the People’s Political Association, the LDP’s fund management organization, and Governor Takahashi Harumi’s fund management organization on the same day.

According to the funding reports of these organizations, 15 executives gave the LDP a total of 2.6 million yen in 2005 and 2.7 million yen in 2006. To the governor, 17 executives gave a total of 440,000 yen in 2005 and 13 executives gave 390,000 yen in 2006.

The amount of donations apparently varies in accordance with the post of donators. To the LDP in 2006, for example, the chairman and president gave 300,000 yen, each of two vice presidents 200,000 yen, and each of the managing directors sums ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 yen.

Such a practice may be in violation of the Political Funds Control Law that prohibits a systematic solicitation of political donations using the employer-employee relationship.

Kamiwaki Hiroyuki, professor at Kobe Gakuin University who specializes in political donations, said, “Although they are disguised as donations from personal accounts, it is highly probable that these donations were made, in effect, systematically by the corporate management. I think these are corporate donations.”

JCP Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly member Mashita Noriko said, “Because of their social, legal, and moral obligations, public utility corporations have been refraining from making political donations. But HEPCO is trying to evade its responsibly.” - Akahata, November 13, 2007
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