Sworn testimony by Matsunami eyed

Four opposition parties agreed Thursday to demand that Lower House member Kenshiro Matsunami be summoned to the chamber’s Budget Committee to give sworn testimony about financial support he received from a company owned by a mobster.

During a House of Representatives Council of Political Ethics session Wednesday, Matsunami admitted his office received 2.5 million yen in financial assistance from a construction firm run by a yakuza member from 1997 and 1998.

Matsunami, a member of the New Conservative Party, claimed he did not know the company president belonged to the underworld. He said he has no plans to quit the Diet.

The opposition parties claimed that despite his denials, he has other suspected links to the underworld and this issue must be further discussed in the budget committee.

Unlike the political ethics council, a sworn witness appearing before the budget committee could be charged with perjury.