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Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
Ishiba admits S. Korean donations
Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba on Thursday confirmed media reports that he received ¥750,000 in donations from firms run by a South Korean man between 2006 and 2011, a possible violation of the Political Funds Control Law.
Ishiba's admission will add fuel to the ongoing battles over competing scandals involving the ruling and opposition camps.
The revelation came when opposition lawmakers, including Ishiba, were hammering Justice Minister Keishu Tanaka over similar misconduct.
The Political Funds Control Law bans contributions from people who are not Japanese citizens and companies with majority foreign ownership, but Ishiba is unlikely to be charged over the apparent violation as politicians are usually allowed to make corrections to their official funding reports after the fact.
Ishiba's office said the money was returned last year after staff in March 2011 checked donation records following Seiji Maehara's resignation as foreign minister for accepting ¥250,000 from a South Korean permanent resident of Japan who went by a Japanese name.
The political funding report indicates the contributions to Ishiba came from three firms based in his Tottori Prefecture district.
Ishiba said he did not know the man who made the donations is Korean because he used what appeared to be a Japanese name.
"(From now on) we'll have to ask (people who donate) if they're Japanese . . . I think we need them to submit something to prove that," he said, without commenting on the Tanaka scandal.
This month, Tanaka admitted getting donations between 2006 and 2009 from a firm in Yokohama operated by a Chinese national. Tanaka said he returned the ¥420,000 his office received.
The LDP and New Komeito are considering submitting a censure motion against Tanaka to the Upper House, as he is also under fire over alleged yakuza ties.