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Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

LDP's Murata angers opposition with camera

Staff writer

Yoshitaka Murata, deputy chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's Diet Affairs Committee, was caught Tuesday secretly photographing angry opposition lawmakers in the Lower House without permission.

After members of the opposition spotted Murata taking photos, Budget Committee Chairman Seishiro Eto of the LDP swiftly confiscated the camera. The panel was in a full-blown screaming match triggered by the ruling bloc's forced passage of an extra budget.

"Any photographing in the committee without the permission of the chairman is strictly prohibited," Eto repeatedly warned as he took the camera.

DPJ lawmakers speculated that Murata was taking the photographs so he could file a complaint with the Lower House disciplinary committee over their behavior.

Immediately after the shouting match, the Democratic Party of Japan filed a complaint with the disciplinary committee. In a written statement, the DPJ said the act was "unbelievable and absolutely unacceptable" for someone in a leadership position.

"Murata conducted an unprecedented act of sneaking shots," DPJ lawmaker Shu Watanabe said. "He completely ignored the rules of the committee."

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The Japan Times

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