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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 27 - March 4  > High court supports guilty verdict of bribery on LDP lawmaker
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2008 February 27 - March 4 [POLITICS]

High court supports guilty verdict of bribery on LDP lawmaker

February 27, 2008
The Tokyo High Court on February 26 supported a lower court decision that found House of Representatives member Suzuki Muneo guilty of accepting bribes and three other crimes, and sentenced him to a two-year prison term and a penalty of 11 million yen.

Suzuki was suspected of receiving a total of 11 million yen from two corporations in 1997 and 1998 when the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker was the Hokkaido/Okinawa Development Agency director general and then deputy chief cabinet secretary, respectively.

After leaving the LDP, he established the New Party Daichi in August 2005, and he was again elected as a House of Representatives member the following month.

Commenting on the High Court ruling, Japanese Communist Party Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji on February 26 said, “It is no surprise that the high court rejected Suzuki’s appeal.”

Kokuta added that the JCP uncovered the fact that Suzuki took money from a corporation by intervening in a bid for a government-funded project on Kunashiri Island, one of the 4 Russian-held “Northern Islands” to build a ‘friendship house’ on Kunashiri Island, which was often referred to as the ”Muneo House.”

Kokuta stated, “This bribery case is a typical case of the collusion among political, bureaucratic, and business circles, in which Muneo exercised his influence in making contracts on the government project. Similar bribery cases, including those of the Defense Ministry, continue to take place under the LDP-government, and such dirty relations must be thoroughly investigated and eliminated.”

“Specifically, steps must be taken to ban fund donations to political parties by corporations and business organizations, as proposed by the JCP,” he stressed.
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