Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 9 - 15  > Ex-Agriculture Minister under suspicion of receiving cash-for-favor from poultry farmer
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 December 9 - 15 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Ex-Agriculture Minister under suspicion of receiving cash-for-favor from poultry farmer

December 9, 2020

Japanese Communist Party member of the Lower House Tamura Takaaki and JCP member of the Upper House Kami Tomoko, at off-session meetings of the Committee on Agriculture held in both chambers on December 8, took up a bribery allegation involving a former Agriculture Minister.

Yoshikawa Takamori during his tenure as Agriculture Minister allegedly received a total of five million yen in cash at his office from an influential figure in Japan's poultry industry and worked in favor of the industry. The cash was not recorded in Yoshikawa's political funds reports, very possibly violating the Political Funds Control Act. Yoshikawa resigned from all his posts in the Liberal Democratic Party on December 2 and is currently hospitalized for "arrhythmia".

The bribe giver is a former representative of the major egg producer Akita Foods Co., Ltd. who served for a long time as a deputy head of and special advisor to the Japan Poultry Association.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) requires that Japan meet global standards based on its "Animal Welfare" guidelines. However, the poultry industry in Japan reacted sharply against this, claiming that it will cost too much to build and install the necessary facilities and equipment. As a result, the government of Japan submitted to the OIE a written objection and took measures to reduce burdens on the industry.

JCP Tamura said, "If it is true that the former Agriculture Minister accepted bribes, it means that the government policy was bought. The Ministry should conduct an investigation to uncover the whole truth." Agriculture Minister Nogami Kotaro, however, refused to give explanations on the grounds that the case is already under investigation. Regarding the objection submitted to the OIE, the present minister insisted, "It was appropriate." The JCP representative demanded, "The ministry should make public all the related materials and should explain how the alleviation policy was made."

JCP Kami pointed out that Special Advisor to the Cabinet Nishikawa Koya, also former Agriculture Minister, reportedly had been entertained by Akita Foods on a luxurious yacht owned by the bribe giver. Kami said, "The two former ministers may have played a part in pro-industry policymaking," demanding that they be summoned as witnesses before the Diet.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved