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DPJ Ozawa questioned over source of 400 million yen

Tokyo prosecutors on January 23 questioned Ozawa Ichiro, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan, on suspicion of violating the Political Funds Control Law over a land purchase by his fund management organization Rikuzankai.

Reportedly Ozawa was questioned over an allegation that Rikuzankai had paid 400 million yen for land in Tokyo in October 2004 but failed to include the source of the 400 million yen in its political funds reports. Whether he was involved in this scandal or not is at issue.

It is reported that the 400 million yen in question is suspected to be illegal political donations from genera l contractor construction companies but Ozawa denied this.

His explanations were, however, not convincing because he has changed his story several times. He first stated that the 400 million yen was from his political funds, then he said it was from bank loans, and later claimed that it was from his personal assets at home. His latest explanation was that it was funds that his own office had stored.

Ozawa still employs the secretary who was arrested for illegally receiving donations from Nishimatsu Construction Co., and keeps arguing that the arrest is unlawful, denying his involvement in the Nishimatsu-money scandal. Using evasive tactics, over the suspicion of where the funds of 400 million yen for the land purchase were from, Ozawa is expected to employ the same technique to get around his own indictment.

How absurd it is for a leader of the governing party to be heavily tainted with money and escape from taking the blame at all!

Ozawa should continue to respond to prosecutors questioning and the DPJ has the responsibility to reveal the whole picture of the allegations before the public in the Diet.

- Akahata, January 24, 2010

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